At long last, Doc Rivers is the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. The deal that started and stopped numerous times and was rejected by the NBA at one point for being against the league's rules finally met completion earlier this week with the Clippers sending an unprotected 2015 pick to the Celtics in compensation for the Celtics releasing Rivers from his contract. Rivers then signed a reported three-year, $21 million deal.
The Clippers officially introduced Rivers as their head coach Wednesday. It will be the only move too with Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld reporting the Clippers and Celtics agreed they would not make any further deals for the 2013-14 season as part of the agreement.
The move almost assuredly means the Clippers will be able to re-sign Chris Paul in free agency this summer. It is somewhat assumed Paul was the one who pushed the Clippers and Rivers to pursue this move. So it figures now that Paul would stay having gotten what he wants to a very large degree.
Paul's Clippers teammates are also excited about the prospect of having Rivers as their head coach.
Several Clippers told Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld how big the move is for the Clippers organization:
Jamal Crawford: I think the Clippers organization is showing that they’ll do whatever they think needs to be done to put us in a position to compete for a championship. Obviously, Doc is one of the top coaches in the league and has championship pedigree. This should be fun!
Caron Butler: From what I hear, he’s a great man that demands respect, one of high character [who] stands on principle. He’s a great player’s coach and he rewards hard work. I’m glad he’s here. Hopefully we all can have our fingerprints on bringing a title to L.A.
Now it is about figuring out exactly who will coach.
It can be assumed that Chris Paul will be back forming a backbone for the team to build around with Paul and Blake Griffin. Next comes the question of DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe. Both have been involved in several rumors already this offseason. They were both key parts to the team that finished fourth in the West last year. But they are also the two players with the most value.
The Clippers appear to have part of their future set. Now comes the tough part: winning a championship.
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Maybe. Maybe not. I think it was really wrong for the Clippers not to give Vinnie another chance. I have been a Clippers fan for quite awhile, and the past two seasons have been the best that I can remember in a long, long, looooonnng time. People seem to think Chris Paul is the end all. However, if he would left, I think Bledsoe would have stepped up and been just fine!
@ChesyP Yeah, Vinny always seems to get a raw deal (got a raw deal in Chicago too). But, when people clamor to get rid of a coach, everyone asks who out there is better to replace him? In this case, I think the Clippers found someone who was better to replace him. If this deal was in the works for that long, Rivers seems to be a significant upgrade.