Doc Rivers is in a bit of a standoff with the Boston Celtics. The head coach has not committed to returning next season and is giving more hints by the day that he is likely to leave Boston. He has remained rather coy about the topic, simply telling reporters that he would "rather not say" if he is returning or not. That comment is a far cry from his "I'm returning until I say I'm not" comment after the Celtics were beat in the first round of the playoffs this season. So what is the hold up? Sources report it is the pending roster situation with the team.
The Celtics will either be relying on the core players once again next season or they will be in an extreme rebuilding phase. Rivers is not looking forward to the rebuilding idea. While Celtics president Danny Ainge is under the impression that Rivers will be back for his 10th season in Boston, speculation is running will that if key players leave, Rivers goes as well.
Rivers is currently under contract with the Celtics, making the situation even more complicated. He currently has three years and $21 million remaining on an extension signed back in 2010. After signing the extension, Rivers had said he was committed to reshaping the Boston roster long-term, but might not be so down for an extreme reshaping of the roster.
It is no secret that several marquee players might be on their way out of the Celtics organization. Kevin Garnett could very well announce his retirement soon. Paul Pierce is owed over $15 million this upcoming season and at his age Boston will not give that amount of money away easily. Rajon Rondo ended his season with a torn ACL and is currently rehabbing, but has no timetable for a return. At least two of the Big 3 could be gone by next season and Rivers might not be willing to coach the team without them.
The Boston Globe has been pressure Rivers to give an answer about his status with the team. He simply told the organization that an answer will come soon. With free agency beginning at the end of the month, many Celtics players will have to decide their future by then. When they make a decision, Rivers will too.