With the 2013 NBA Finals set to conclude on Thursday night, it’s time to start looking forward to the offseason and the major personnel changes teams are making.
In this edition of the rumor roundup, I’ll focus on the head coaching vacancies around the league and what the latest buzz is on the likely candidates to fill these positions.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the hottest rumors around the league concerning the most notable openings.
Clippers May Not Be Done Pursuing Doc Rivers Yet
Talks may have broke down between the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics concerning a potential megatrade involving coach Doc Rivers and veteran forward Kevin Garnett being shipped to L.A., but that doesn’t mean they are done forever.
In fact, if the Clips fail to replace Vinny Del Negro by the time next week’s NBA draft comes along, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times has found that negotiations could resume.
Insider sources believe that the Clippers will remain interested in Rivers until they actually go out and hire another coach. Until that happens, the door will remain open for the 2008 NBA Finals-winning headman to make his way to Tinseltown.
The Celtics refused to back down from their high price of two first-round picks, but L.A. seems to be overvaluing what would likely be selections in the mid-to-late 20’s of the draft.
Doc Rivers could be the difference between superstar point guard Chris Paul staying and departing in unrestricted free agency. He could be the difference between this team being eliminated in the first round of the postseason and making the Finals in the wide-open Western Conference.
Don’t be surprised if the Clippers smarten up and make the wise decision to reopen discussions next week, possibly hammering out a deal that satisfies both parties.
Grizzlies Interviewing Ed Pinckney for Second Time, No Front-runner
The Memphis Grizzlies recently parted ways with Lionel Hollins, the winningest coach in franchise history who was fresh off a Western Conference Finals appearance.
Now they have the unenviable task of interviewing candidates that can hopefully replace Hollins' production and ability to get the most out of his roster, otherwise they will look like foolish failures that made a terrible decision.
One of those candidates that has been invited for a second round of interviews is Chicago Bulls assistant Ed Pinckney, who has been thriving under defensive-minded coach Tom Thibodeau.
CSN Chicago insider Aggrey Sam found that Pinckney’s initial meeting with Griz CEO Jason Levien went swimmingly, and he has made enough of an impression to warrant more consideration.
Former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry is also set to have a second interview, while current Memphis assistant Dave Joerger and former Denver Nuggets HC George Karl are reportedly (as per Sam) also in consideration.
With the Clippers job the only other notable opening in the league at this juncture, the Griz should take their time and hold as many interviews as possible to find the right candidate.
If they don’t find the perfect fit, they are going to take a major step back in 2013-14 and their ridiculous decision to cut ties with Hollins will look even more reckless.