Doc Rivers says experience with Magic helped in recruiting Kawhi Leonard, Paul George to Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers made the biggest noise in the offseason, acquiring both Kawhi Leonard via free agency and Paul George via trade. The front office turned the franchise from a playoff team to a legitimate title contender in just one night, and one of the people who made this happen is head coach Doc Rivers.
Rivers said that their recruitment pitch was simple and straightforward, but it turned out to be the most effective. The veteran coach told LA Times’ Andrew Grief in an interview that his experience as an executive for the Orlando Magic helped him in their chase for both stars.
“I can draw upon Orlando because we had so much success doing it. Lawrence Frank did more research than any human being is possible to do. And I thought [former Orlando general manager] John Gabriel did the same thing. That’s why we were successful in Orlando getting Tracy and Grant, and that’s why we‘ve been successful today.”
Rivers was with the Magic from 1999-2003 and during that span, they were able to pair a rising star in Tracy McGrady and veteran Grant Hill. Although it didn’t lead to a championship, the franchise was still able to have a significant amount of success when it came to recruiting players during Doc’s time there.
Rivers was also a member of the Boston Celtics when they were able to form the trio of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. So, it’s safe to say that helping a franchise build a great team is something that Doc has been really good at.