Sure, the Celtics could make a lot of changes this summer, but that doesn't mean they will. In fact, it sounds like they want to keep the core in tact. Hey, they did come within 4 points of a Championship this year.
Great stuff from Steve Bulpett here (as usual).
But before they can even begin to fathom the details, the Celtics had to make one huge decision: Do they keep it together or do they blow it up? They have decided on the former, according to sources. From that, the map becomes more clear. The Celtics will try to add to their core with a mid-level exception free agent and a draft pick, and trades will be explored, as well. The feeling is that Danny Ainge might try to rebuild on the fly if there were a more direct route, but unless he could find regenerating trades for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce [stats] - who could opt out of his contract and change the greenscape all by himself - the team’s thought is to hope some good additions can be found. Ray Allen’s free-agent status is also a wild card, though both he and Pierce have let it be known their first choice is to stay. If their situations work out, you’ll essentially be seeing a very similar Green vehicle next season with some added horsepower and options.
I'm on board with that, as long as we are in fact adding horsepower that will actually play and contribute and help rest the vets. Not sure how to do that with the resources we have available, but in Danny we trust (usually).
Sounds like we've got a plan B on Doc as well. Old friend Kevin McHale! (after the break)
There is growing confidence that Rivers will stay on and complete his contract, but, as you would expect, the Celtics have kicked around a few ideas if he doesn't. According to sources, Ainge has gauged McHale's interest in the position - again quite understandable when you consider the two remain close and speak often anyway.
It is interesting to note that Tom Thibodeau would not have been the slam dunk replacement if Rivers were to leave, and his hiring by Chicago helped avoid what could have been a touchy situation. Upper management is said to still hold Thibodeau in high regard, but the fact it still had some questions may say more than its words.
But, as with most other matters, the strong desire to keep Rivers is being driven by the decision to stay the course with the core. If the Celtics were going into rebuilding mode, Rivers would be far more likely - maybe even a lock - to take a sabbatical. Then McHale would be the easy choice for a number of reasons. He did very well with the younger players in his time on the Minnesota bench, and, of at least equal importance, he could help keep Ainge on the job.