There has been plenty of speculation over the last two or three years about whether the Boston Celtics would move on from their aging core and start implementing some younger stars to play alongside Rajon Rondo. Instead, they've opted to keep Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and hope to tweak the role players around them in an attempt to bring another title shot to Boston.
If this is finally the season in which they do jettison some of their older stars and bring in younger pieces to rebuild the franchise, it seems like they'll still have one of the best coaches in basketball guiding everybody. Celtics executive Danny Ainge told Boston Globe reporter Gary Washburn that Doc Rivers will still be coach of Celtics next season.
Danny Ainge confirms that Doc Rivers is returning next season as #celtics coach. "We've got a coach everybody would love to have."— gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) May 16, 2013
The Celtics have decisions to make regarding Garnett and Pierce this offseason, and retaining Rivers' services as the coach probably makes it more likely that those two veterans will stick around. Garnett has two more years under contract at around $12 million per season, but only next season is fully guaranteed. Pierce is under contract for the 2013-14 season, but it's only partially guaranteed. The Celtics could get out from under that commitment by releasing Pierce and only paying about $4 million of the roughly $15 million that they owe Pierce.
However, that would end the relationship between Pierce and the Celtics on very cold terms, which they might not be willing to do with all that the two parties have accomplished with each other. Outside of those two, Boston has 12 players under contract if they don't want to release Terrence Williams, Shavlik Randolph and/or D.J. White from their non-guaranteed deals. They'll have to continue to help Rondo rehab from his ACL injury and decide if they can make any moves through trades or minor signings to help shape the roster, assuming they don't go through a massive overhaul by trying to get rid of Garnett (no-trade clause) and Pierce.