The drama is over, and the first domino in the Boston Celtics‘ era has fallen. The Los Angeles Clippers have completed the trade that will send Doc Rivers to them in exchange for a 2015 first-round pick. The deal will not become official until the league approves it, but it seems like this deal will get done. With that now out of the way it most likely spells the end for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Rivers didn’t want to be part of a rebuilding team, and Danny Ainge granted his wish of letting him go elsewhere. The Celtics have lost a great coach, but all things must come to an end.
With the search for a new head coach underway in Boston, expect to hear the names of George Karl, Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw to be lined up for interviews. With Rajon Rondo, who is a top point guard in the NBA, Ainge can now start to build around him. The Celtics also have a good young core with players like Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley and Jeff Green, but what type of coach will Ainge find that will have the patience to coach a rebuilding team? Also, how much leverage will Ainge give the new coach?
Hollins could be the coach the Celtics are looking for. He led the Memphis Grizzlies to their best season ever, and he helped rebuild the team to get over the hump. He is a defensive coach, which the Celtics are all about, and he is similar to Rivers in terms of his loyalty and coaching style. He earned the respect of his players, and they played their hearts out for him. Hollins is a players’ coach which bodes well for the Celtics, and it will help when it comes time to recruit free agents.
The state of the Celtics is a mystery now, and who knows what the outcome will be. Celtics fans shouldn’t be upset with Rivers as he already has gone through a rebuilding phase, and it’s not fair to ask him to go through another one. This is much different from Ray Allen leaving to join the bitter rival Miami Heat. Rivers and Ainge did what they thought would be best for the team. Now everything will fall on Ainge’s shoulders and whether he can still put together a team that will compete. Hopefully, Ainge can rebuild on the fly because this Celtics fan doesn’t want to see his team return to the cellar of the Eastern Conference.