Doc Rivers and the Clippers are expected to begin negotiation soon toward an extension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Rivers and new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, who formally assumed control of the team today, have been anxious to forge a long-term working relationship, Wojnarowski writes.
Rivers, who serves in a dual capacity as coach and executive, has two seasons left on the three-year, $21MM pact he signed when the Clippers and Celtics worked out a deal that let him out of his contract with Boston. The 52-year-old had assumed control of Clippers player personnel when he joined the team last summer, but this June the club changed his title from Senior VP of basketball operations to president of basketball operations.
The notion of extension talks is an about-face from rumors that cast Rivers’ future with the team in doubt. Rivers publicly shepherded the team through the early days of the Sterling saga this spring, but weeks passed before he would definitely say that he had no plans to leave. Yet the specter of Rivers’ potential departure resurfaced last month during the probate trial to determine whether Shelly Sterling had the authority to agree to strike a deal to sell the team to Ballmer. Clippers CEO Dick Parsons testified that Rivers had told him he didn’t think he would remain with the team if Donald Sterling continued to own it.