As this off-season drags further along, it's seeming less and less likely that Doc Rivers will actually come back to coach the Boston Celtics next year.
This all started when Doc Rivers was noncommittal after the season about whether or not he would continue to coach. This, despite having several years left on his contract. Since then, he has yet to confirm he's coming back and has only given vague response to inquiries from reporters.
This is the most recent bomb to come out on the topic.
DEVELOPING: Doc Rivers believes it "may be time for a change" in his status as Celtics coach, source told @chris_broussard.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 12, 2013
Obviously, this isn't a confirmation that Doc Rivers isn't returning, but it isn't good.
Doc Rivers is currently the highest paid coach in the league. Rumors have swirled that he would be uncomfortable going through the rebuilding process again with the Celtics.
Rivers is under contract for another three years, and he cannot coach any other team but the Celtics during that time. That is, unless the team gives him permission. The Nets had requested permission to interview Doc for their open position just recently but the Celtics shut them down. One would assume that they would not be open to Doc leaving.
If Doc leaves, it could be most likely he would want to just spend time with his family. That has been the reason he's cited for waffling in the off-season in past years.
Rivers is important to the Celtics not only as a coach, but also as an attraction for free-agents. Boston is not the most exciting, warmest, or cheapest cities on the planet. The Celtics have never really signed a big name free-agent before, but players do respect Doc and some would come to Boston if recruited by him.
Still, the fact that Doc reportedly wants out might damage that part right now. I'm sure we'll find out more as we approach the end of June, but right now, it's not looking to good for Celtics fans.
In a written piece on ESPN.com, Broussard reveals some more nuggets.
If Rivers became available, he would immediately become the most coveted coach on the market. The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers asked for permission to speak with Rivers about their coaching jobs last month, but Ainge refused to grant it.
There is a feeling throughout the league, however, that because of the closeness of their relationship, Ainge would allow Rivers to leave and go elsewhere if the coach requested it.
The bit on the Nets was public knowledge, but not the part about the Clippers. Interesting to note that Broussard says that if Ainge thought Doc wanted to leave, he'd let him. That tells me that Doc did not give Ainge the indication that he wanted out when the Clippers and Nets asked for permission. Perhaps he's changed his mind. We'll find out soon, I'm sure.
Another update on this Doc story, CSNNE's A. Sherrod Blakely is slightly refuting Chris Broussard's claim. Blakely reports that Doc is unsure and is doing back and forth on this topic. Hopefully, he makes up his mind soon.
But a league source contacted by CSNNE.com on Wednesday indicated that Rivers continues to mull over whether he will return to Boston, and he hasn't made a decision one way or the other.Michael Saver 6/12/2013 11:28:00 AM Tweet
"He's really torn up about this," the source said.
It is unclear if he has given his players any indication of his plans for next season.
One player contacted Wednesday said, "We're waiting just like you guys."