Doc Rivers is currently under contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, but there are rumors bubbling up that he could be moving across his current arena to the other locker room. Yes, the Los Angeles Lakers could make a run at Rivers this summer.
Would Rivers earnestly consider leaving a rebuilt playoff team (three starters are 22, 22 & 20; and then there’s Danilo Gallinari and two nuclear subs) that will enjoy enough cap space July 1 to entice on paper two free agents worthy of maximum investment (Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard are my educated guesses), and an owner who won’t faintly flinch to shell it out?
Of course, Rivers would!
According to a confidant, he almost always has wanted to leash the Lakers. In conversations over the years, Doc frequently expressed an ardent ambition to coach either them, or the Knicks before retiring, if for no other motivation than their worldwide brands.
We all know Luke Walton and the Lakers are destined to break up after this season. Obviously, Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka want to make a splash with their next hire. They also need someone who can command the respect of LeBron James while also integrating the remaining pieces of the Lakers’ young core. There are only a few coaches out there who could do both.
The Clippers enter Monday with a 41-30 record and in the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. It’s been a remarkable season considering the franchise appeared to be settling in for a rebuild this season. In fact, it might be Rivers’ best coaching job yet.
Vescey claims Clippers owner Steve Ballmer will pony up big-time to keep his coach. While Rivers is currently making $10 million a year, Ballmer is likely to offer him an extension worth $60 million over four seasons.
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss won’t be breaking the bank to bring in Rivers, but he might take less to coach LeBron be part of the NBA’s glamour franchise.
Expect these rumors to persist until Rivers makes a decision on his future.
UPDATE: Just to clarify, I was not suggesting the Lakers had any chance of landing Coach K, just that LeBron and Magic might try to make a run at him. Some people seem to be confused by the language that maybe I was suggesting he would leave Duke for the Lakers. He won’t.