Thursday, July 19, 2012
Rivers: 'Our summer's been good'
By Greg Payne
LAS VEGAS -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Thursday that he's been pleased with the offseason thus far, and is looking forward to improving the team further.
"I think our summer's been good," Rivers said. "When we get everything we want, I think we'll have had a great summer."
The Celtics have so far re-signed free agents Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox; signed free agent guard Jason Terry using the midlevel exception; are on the verge of re-acquiring free agent forward Jeff Green after he missed last season due to heart surgery; and drafted Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger, and Syracuse center Fab Melo and teammate Kris Joseph.
On Thursday, a source said the C's were finalizing a sign-and-trade agreement with the Houston Rockets to acquire guard Courtney Lee in exchange for JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore, Sean Williams and a second-round draft pick.
"I can't say anything," Rivers said of the Lee reports, but the coach said he is looking forward to the other acquisitions, particularly Terry and Green. Terry, and his willingness to come off the bench in particular, struck a chord of excitement for Rivers.
"Oh, I love it. Not only that, we needed a guy that could score off the dribble, you know, that can create a shot," Rivers said. "I thought that was one of our big needs and by getting Jason we solved that need."
As for Green, Rivers will re-introduce several game plans he was forced to scrap last season when it was learned the former Big East Defensive Player of the year would require heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm and miss the season.
"Yeah, with Jeff we can go small now," Rivers said. "Jeff can play the 3 a lot as well. It gives us more versatility."
River said the void left by Ray Allen, who chose to sign with the Miami Heat, can be filled by a single player, but that it can be done by committee as well, if necessary.
"Well you don't have to replace the player with the same type of player," Rivers explained. "You can get a different type of player and that's what we're trying to do."
Rivers said the different pieces the Celtics have added will make them a better defensive team and provide them with more ballhandling -- two improvements he felt needed to be made, particularly with the Atlantic Division set to be more competitive next season thanks to the arrival of Joe Johnson and the re-signing of Deron Williams in Brooklyn. Rivers said he could do without the added improvements in the division, but the C's will forge ahead, regardless.
"Yeah, [the division] really has [improved]," Rivers said, before adding, "No, I wish [the teams] all sucked. But that's fine, we don't mind that."