Monday was supposed to be the day that the NBA approved the deal between the Celtics and Clippers that would allow Doc Rivers to coach in Los Angeles next season.
It hasn’t happened yet, but it isn’t because of a holdup on the league’s part. The deal has yet to be finalized and sent for approval, and the reason why may involve a much bigger role for Rivers with the Clippers beyond just being the team’s head coach.
A report from A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com states that the reason for the delay is due to the Clippers working through the details of Rivers’ new contract, and Mark Heisler (writing for Sports City) gives us some insight into the particulars.
SportsCity has learned Doc Rivers will not only become coach, he’ll take control of the basketball operation without title, like Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.
This would explain the reason for the holdup, and would obviously be huge news for the Clippers organization.
L.A.’s historically junior professional basketball team has lacked legitimacy essentially since the beginning of time. It’s been nothing but one losing season after another, until just recently.
With Blake Griffin and likely Chris Paul in the fold for seasons to come, along with the Kobe Bryant era coming to an end for the Lakers in the next couple of years, it appears the franchise is finally ready to take the necessary steps that could set them up to compete for multiple championships. Should that happen, the potential would be there to not only reach the demanding NBA fan base in Los Angeles, but to captivate them, as well.
Getting one of the league’s top five head coaches is a great start. But putting a tenured and respected person like Rivers in charge of personnel would spark an organizational culture change that would take things to another level entirely — as long as ownership stays out of the way and actually lets the basketball people make the basketball decisions.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.
Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.
What next for Boston?
In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.
Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.
What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.
At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.
And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.