The possibility of Doc Rivers leaving the Celtics seems to be increasing by the day, and as such, it seems as if the team is preparing for the possibility of life without its head coach of nine seasons.
Del Negro, a Springfield, Mass., native, was recently fired by the Clippers after leading the team to a 56-26 regular-season record — its best in franchise history — and first-round playoff exit to the Grizzlies.
“As a stopgap for that situation, sure,” one source said of Del Negro being hired, according to the Herald. “Vinny would be the perfect person for what they need. All of the all-star coaches, or whatever you want to call them, are going, and knowing how [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] feels about him, [Del Negro] would be a good fit.”
Del Negro’s price tag seems to be a reason why the Celtics would be interested. Two years ago, Rivers signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Celtics, and according to the source, it would be unlikely that the Celtics would offer another big contract to a new coach, which makes Del Negro an ideal fit.
“[Vinny] made about $1 million in his last year with the Clippers, so he’s affordable,” the source said, according to the Herald.
But the source also said that he expects Rivers to return to Boston next season for that very reason — money.
“I don’t think [Rivers] can take a pass on that money,” the source said. “If I were him, I’d want to come back and then get fired. Nine years really is a long time to be in one place.”