Doc Rivers lost his lead assistant and the guy in charge of his offense in Alvin Gentry to Golden State when the Warriors agreed to give him a $300,000 pay raise.
Now it looks like the Clippers have lost the guy in line to take over that No. 2 chair — Tyronn Lue is leaving the Clippers to be the lead assistant for David Blatt and the Cleveland Cavaliers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Blatt is a very experienced international coach who players have liked playing for but also has the reputation of a taskmaster. He needed a younger coach with a more recent foothold in the NBA to be by his side, he found that in Lue.
For Lue he gets a couple things. One is a step towards his own head coaching job in the next few years — and he gets to work next to one of the most innovative offensive minds on the planet. The other is a nice little pay raise, reportedly up to $1 million according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Doc Rivers has a lot of contacts around the league, he’s going to need to reach out to a few to replenish his staff. But he’s not going to have much trouble. Mo Cheeks is already one name circulating.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.