Doc Rivers Rumors
You’ve already said after losing to Portland you won’t trade any of the three stars. Are you worried that boxes you into a corner a little bit? Is that really the case? Doc Rivers: I don’t worry about the corner thing, ever. I’m always gonna do what’s good for the team. You don’t ever do anything but that. But I feel like the best thing for the team right now is to keep them together. Can that change? Of course it can change. But I don’t think it will.
Back to the present: Are you worried you’ve given up too many draft picks at this point to infuse the team with young talent? Doc Rivers: Yeah. I am. I think we had to because of the cap situation we inherited, but we’re starting to get some back. The best thing to happen to us is we get the Brooklyn pick at the start of the second round. That’s a big deal for us. So now, I think we have a chance to get healthy, get picks and keep building our team.
How did you learn about it? Did your phone ring at 4 a.m.? Oh, yeah. When the phone rings at 4 a.m., it’s never good. Who calls? Blake? Matias? The trainer. When you get those calls, and you look at the phone and see [Clippers trainer] Jasen Powell, you know whatever is about to be said — it’s not going to be a good thing.
What do you do next? Go back to sleep? Schedule an immediate team meeting? Punch the wall? No, no. I didn’t go back to sleep, but I waited until the morning. You do what you do. You talk to Blake and Matias, and then you have a team meeting, and you go get your ass kicked that night.
Doc Rivers would not get into specifics, other than to say his son is one of the players on the team he expects will “get deals this summer, and we’re hoping they’re here.” The salary cap is an issue. The Clippers — not including player options — have roughly $78 million in guaranteed contracts for 2016-17, when the cap is expected to rise to about $89 million. Jamal Crawford, Luc Mbah a Moute, Jeff Green, Pablo Prigioni and Jeff Ayers are free agents and Cole Aldrich and Wes Johnson have player options, so there are those considerations.
One thing’s certain: Doc Rivers is proud as a peacock. “More, I guess, the next day because of all the texts and calls,” he said. “I got a lot of calls from other coaches around the league. They kept saying, ‘Your son,’ and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s cool.’”