Danny Ainge stated publicly last week that, to the best of his knowledge, head coach Doc Rivers will be back behind the Celtics’ bench next season.
Rivers has yet to confirm this, though, and a Boston Herald report indicates that the coach may still be weighing his options.
The Herald’s Steve Bulpett cites a source close to the situation claiming that there is still a possibility that Rivers will choose not to return to Boston for a tenth season. This is reportedly a very slim chance, with the source giving “90-10” odds of Rivers staying put.
Rivers — currently the highest-paid coach in the NBA — still has three years and $21 million left on his contract, meaning that he would only be able to coach another team if the Celtics fired him or granted him his release. But Bulpett reports that if Rivers does leave, he would not have the desire to coach elsewhere.
The speculation continued to grow after a report Thursday night that Ainge had shut down a request by the Nets to speak to Rivers about their head coaching vacancy, and it is unlikely to die down until Doc publicly addresses the matter. He has not spoken to the media since his postgame news conference after the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs on May 3, during which he did not give any indication of his plans for the fall.
“I don’t know, I mean, I don’t know that right now,” Rivers said after Boston’s 88-80 loss to the Knicks. “I can’t make that decision now. I’m under contract. And we’ll see — honestly, I can’t even think about that right now. So I don’t know.”