Hello and welcome to the Evening News. What’s happening today?
Here’s the latest from around the league:
Ainge first approached Rivers about Clippers trade
Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that contrary to popular belief, the proposed Doc Rivers trade to the Clippers was actually GM Danny Ainge’s idea.
When Rivers confirmed potential interest, Ainge told him that he had already started preliminary talks about a potential trade.
“At that point, this became a situation where both Doc and the Celtics were seeing if they could both get something they wanted out of this,” the source said.
While the media has portrayed this potential trade as solely a product of Rivers’ desire to avoid a rebuilding situation in Boston, it is clear that the Celtics mutually understand Rivers is not the best coach to go into a rebuilding phase with.
Most obviously, Rivers is on the hook for $21 million over the next three seasons. For a team that lacks the talent to compete for titles, paying $7 million annually for a coach is less than desirable. There are countless potential coaches on the market — with much lower price tags — who would be honored to coach the Celtics.
Moreover, if the Celtics can manage to acquire a draft pick for River, it will further expedite their rebuilding efforts.
Greg Oden and Heat have “mutual interest”
According to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida, Greg Oden and the Miami Heat have a mutual interest in teaming up this summer.
Oden’s agent, Mike Conley Sr., expects to speak with Pat Riley when free agency begins on July 1.
“The Heat need some size, that’s not a secret,” Conley said. “Whether it’s in a backup role or whatever, he could help them. I know they’re interested in him and he’s interested in them.”
Oden, the first overall pick from the 2007 draft, has not played a game in the league since 2009 due to chronic knee problems. Regardless, at seven feet and only 25 years old, Oden has the potential to return to form as an impact center in the NBA.
“He’s doing great. I think he could be ready for the regular-season opener,” Conley said. “I’m not sure he’d be ready to play significant minutes. But it would depend on whether the team that he went to wanted him to play right away or not.”
If Cleveland opts to draft a perimeter player with the first pick in next week’s draft, Oden could become a possibility for the Cavaliers as well.
“He’s really excited,”’ Conley said about Oden wanting to get back in the NBA. “I’ve never seen him this excited.”
Tim Duncan offended by retirement question
Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News reports that Tim Duncan has no plans of retiring any time soon. Following the crushing Game 7 defeat, Duncan dismissed a reporter for asking him if he is thinking about retirement:
“[I] can’t believe you’re asking that question,” he said. “It’s been five, six years you’re saying we’re too old. I’m not going to answer that.”
Duncan is in better shape than he’s been in for years and turned in an All-NBA First Team performance for the 2012-2013 season along with a vintage Finals performance in Game 6.
Duncan’s contract is on the books through 2015.