Clippers announce Doc Rivers as new coach; Shaw takes Nuggets job

Posted June 25, 2013, at 6 p.m.
Last modified June 25, 2013, at 6:38 p.m.
Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers watches from the sideline as they take on the Toronto Raptors during the first quarter at the TD Garden on Nov. 17, 2012.
David Butler II | US PRESSWIRE
Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers watches from the sideline as they take on the Toronto Raptors during the first quarter at the TD Garden on Nov. 17, 2012.

LOS ANGELES — It took almost two weeks of wrangling, but the Los Angeles Clippers finally got their man when the NBA on Tuesday approved a deal for Coach Doc Rivers to come to L.A. from the Boston Celtics.

Once all the details and language of Rivers’ contract were worked out between his representatives and the Clippers, the paperwork was sent to the NBA so the deal could be finalized. The Clippers will send the Celtics an unprotected first-round draft pick in 2015 as part of the deal.

The Clippers and Rivers, 51, will have a news conference Wednesday to announce him as the new coach to replace Vinny Del Negro.

Rivers, who will have a say in all personnel matters along with Gary Sacks, the Clippers’ vice president of basketball operations, is also the team’s senior vice president of basketball operations.

The Clippers assumed the last three years Rivers had on his contract with the Celtics for $21 million.

Before he boarded a flight to Los Angeles on Tuesday, Rivers signed a three-year deal with the Clippers that will pay him $7 million per year, said NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. It’s the same amount Rivers was being paid by the Celtics.

The deal the Clippers and Celtics agreed to in principle on Sunday night for Rivers to come to L.A. and for the Clippers to send Boston a draft pick as compensation was expected to be completed Monday, but was held up another day.

Now that it’s done, the Clippers’ next priority is to get Chris Paul re-signed, something most believe will happen now that Rivers is the coach.

The Clippers are expected to offer Paul, who will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, a maximum five-year contract worth $107.3 million.

In other NBA coaching moves, Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw took over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, his first head coaching job.

Shaw reportedly also was a candidate for several other head coaching vacancies. Prior to his two seasons with the Pacers, Shaw spent seven seasons on the Lakers’ coaching staff.

The 47-year-old takes over a team that won 57 games last season. That helped George Karl be named NBA coach of the year. Nonetheless, Karl was fired by the Nuggets, who lost to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.

“I appreciate the opportunity that the Kroenke family, general manager Tim Connelly and the entire Nuggets organization have given me,” Shaw said in a statement. “Josh has built a quality team and front office and I look forward to joining that nucleus. It’s a talented roster with a great foundation. As a player and a coach, my primary goal has always been to win a championship. I sincerely believe that Josh and Tim share that same vision.”

As a player, Shaw played 14 seasons with Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers and L.A. Lakers. He was a member of Los Angeles’ back-to-back-to-back title teams in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

In Memphis, the Grizzlies are officially staying in house to fill their coaching vacancy, as they promoted assistant coach Dave Joerger Tuesday to take over for departed Lionel Hollins.

Other candidates who reportedly were on the Grizzlies’ radar included Chicago Bulls assistant coach Ed Pinckney, former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl, former Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry, and Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw, who reportedly was hired as the Nuggets’ new coach on Monday.

Joerger, 39, paid his dues in the lower levels of pro basketball, coaching teams to five titles during his time in the International Basketball Association, the Continental Basketball Association and the NBA Development League. Hollins wasn’t offered a contract for next season after he led Memphis to the Western Conference finals.

The past six years, he’s been on the Grizzlies’ bench, helping the team to the most successful season in franchise history in 2012-13. Joerger had an integral part of forging the defense that has been a Grizzlies hallmark.

Now, the team belongs to Joerger, who will earn about $2 million per season for the next three years. The deal includes a fourth year team option, a person familiar with the deal told USA TODAY Sports. The team didn’t release financial details.

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