Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers is about to see his role with the team expand even more. Rivers will remain on the sidelines but also take over as president of basketball operations.
News of Rivers' promotion surfaced on the Clippers' official website through a press release on Monday.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports initially reported on the matter, adding further details on how the front office's power structure is shifting:
Clippers' Doc Rivers is now President of Basketball Operations and continues as Head Coach. Kevin Eastman promoted to VP of Basketball Ops.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 16, 2014
Dave Wohl also becomes the Clippers' general manager. Gary Sacks now assistant GM.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 16, 2014
Rivers spoke on his new position and also addressed the other roles being filled at the top of the organization, per the team's statement:
I am extremely excited to work closely with Kevin, Dave and Gary in their new roles as we continue to move the culture of the Clippers forward. Our goals are not only to become a championship team, but a championship organization as well. I feel with the new structure of the Basketball Operations Department, we have taken a positive step in that direction.
Kevin Eastman is an assistant coach for the Clips, but as ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne points out, he seems cut out to handle the impending change:
Clippers announce promotion to the front office for Kevin Eastman. Can absolutely see him make that transition.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 16, 2014
With Eastman moving from bench to front office, and Tyronn Lue/Alvin Gentry both up for head jobs elsewhere, could be more changes coming— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 16, 2014
If you don't know, @kevineastman start following him. Very interesting guy. Been Doc's trusted counsel for years.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 16, 2014
Giving Rivers more responsibilities highlights how the Clippers are giving him massive influence in the franchise's biggest decisions.
However, USA Today's Adi Joseph doesn't see much difference between the old and new for Rivers:
Doc Rivers has received a promotion to president of basketball operations along with being coach. His duties remain the same, basically.— Adi Joseph (@AdiJoseph) June 16, 2014
L.A.'s new GM, Dave Wohl, worked as the assistant GM under Ainge in Boston when Rivers was there from 2007 through 2009. There is a familiarity factor there with both him and Eastman that suggests the Clippers will have a stretch of stability for the foreseeable future.
How do you feel about Doc Rivers' new role?
According to the news release, Wohl is in charge of executing trades and drafting players. There should be plenty of input from Rivers and others, which is going to make it interesting to see how this multifaceted brain trust works out.
Whoever is ultimately tasked with making the Clippers better, a lot of the offseason focus should be on enhancing the frontcourt depth. Beyond DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, L.A. doesn't have many assets in that area of its rotation.
After guiding the Clippers to a franchise-best 57 wins last season, Rivers will face high expectations and must do all he can to get the proper players in place for a championship run.
His higher internal status with the Clippers will only magnify the moves the team makes to improve.