Eastern Rumors: Hawks, Dwight, Bobcats, Celtics

Since 2007, the only teams to win the Eastern Conference have been the Celtics, the Magic, and whatever team LeBron James has been on. The Magic probably won't be getting back to the Finals anytime soon, and the core of those Celtics teams could soon disappear. Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett may all wind up with the Clippers, removing one of LeBron's most prominent conference rivals. We've got more on the Celtics saga and other news from the East:

  • The Hawks hired Darvin Ham as an assistant coach, the team announced, prompting ESPN's Chris Broussard to speculate that the move was done in part to appeal to Dwight Howard (Twitter link). Ham has been an assistant with the Lakers the past two years, and worked with Howard this year. The Bobcats also had interest in Ham, as Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com notes via Twitter.
  • Celtics GM Danny Ainge still believes coach Doc Rivers will return for next season, according to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, who hears from an agent who figures that Rivers won't coach any team next season.
  • The Celtics will have to rebuild sooner or later, Shaun Powell of Sports on Earth argues. Powell says that now appears to best time to do so, and he lays out a plan that involves waiving Pierce, letting Rivers coach the Clippers, and dangling Garnett in trade offers.
  • Vladimir Radmanovic didn't see much playing time on his one-year deal with the Bulls this past season, but his agent, Alexander Raskovic, says the 32-year-old still intends to play for an NBA team next season (Twitter link).

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