While other teams across the Association are targeting big-name free agents, Doc Rivers is working on improving his coaching staff.
According to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, the Los Angeles Clippers have come to an agreement with former New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson:
The Clippers have reached agreement to add former Knicks coach Mike Woodson to Doc Rivers' staff, league source tells @CBSSports.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 9, 2014
After six years with the Atlanta Hawks, Woodson was hired as head coach by the Knicks in March of 2012. Over the next two-plus seasons, he tallied a record of 109-79 but was only able to win one playoff series in 2012-13.
New York suffered through a disappointing 37-45 season last year. Injuries somewhat plagued the team, but Woodson was given the pink slip and was replaced by first-year coach Derek Fisher.
While the 56-year-old was a highly polarizing figure during his time on the Knicks' bench, J.R. Smith—who won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award in 2012-13—was disappointed to see him go, via ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley:
He was great to me. I think I got a fair shake for the first time in a while under him. He treated me how he wanted to be treated. It sucks, but there is nothing I can do about it.
I think he did a great job. I think he did a good job with me. He responded to the players. It's just a sad day for him, for me and my teammates.
Alas, it didn't take long for him to land on his feet. And in a secondary role with less pressure, he should be able to provide a significant boost to Rivers' staff.
Of course, the Clippers' head coach isn't done recruiting:
Rivers also pursuing Lawrence Frank (his former assistant in Boston) and Wizards assistant Sam Cassell, source says. Nothing final there.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 9, 2014
That forced NBA writer Jared Dubin to joke about Rivers' strategy:
Doc Rivers getting Mike Woodson is in keeping with his strategy of targeting anybody who was good in the Eastern Conference in 2009.— Jared Dubin (@JADubin5) July 9, 2014
Still, the plan is pretty clear: stockpile experience. Woodson has coached nearly 700 regular-season games and been to the postseason five times, while Lawrence Frank has 614 regular-season contests and four playoff trips under his belt.
The Clips have plenty of talent on the court, and with the additions of Jordan Farmar, Spencer Hawes and C.J. Wilcox this offseason, they will only continue to get better.
Adding more basketball minds to the bench may just be the final step in helping them catch the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder out West.