Doc Rivers May Recruit Ex-Bucks Star for Coaching Team

Doc Rivers seeks to strengthen Bucks' coaching lineup.

by Abdullah Magsi
Doc Rivers May Recruit Ex-Bucks Star for Coaching Team
© Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks' playoff journey concluded earlier than anticipated this season, suffering a first-round exit at the hands of the Indianapolis Pacers in six games. This outcome sparked significant changes within the coaching ranks, initiated by head coach Doc Rivers.

Following the team's elimination, Rivers, who stepped in as head coach in January replacing Adrian Griffin, parted ways with assistants DJ Bakker, Sidney Dobner, and Josh Oppenheimer. Rivers, known for his decisive leadership, had previously brought on trusted aides Dave Joerger, Rex Kalamian, and Pete Dominguez.

Nevertheless, the recent departures have created urgent vacancies in his coaching staff. Despite the gaps, Rivers appears unruffled, potentially eyeing a familiar face to bolster his team's coaching prowess.

Rivers Eyes Cassell

Amidst swirling speculations, NBA insider Marc Stein revealed on his Substack that Rivers is keenly interested in recruiting Sam Cassell, provided Cassell does not secure the head coaching position with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Cassell, a former Bucks standout who played five seasons in Milwaukee, currently serves as an assistant under Joe Mazzulla with the Boston Celtics. This follows his tenure alongside Rivers with the Philadelphia 76ers and previously with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Cassell's coaching credentials are further enhanced by his lengthy collaboration with Rivers, spanning nearly a decade across various franchises. This established rapport could be pivotal in Rivers’ strategy to strengthen his coaching lineup.

However, Cassell remains a strong candidate for the Lakers' head coaching role, contending with figures such as JJ Redick and James Borrego. The possibility of Cassell's departure from Boston hinges on several factors, not least whether the Celtics clinch the NBA championship.

The outcome could influence his decision, presenting a significant dilemma: pursue a head coaching role or reunite with Rivers in Milwaukee. As the coaching carousel continues, the basketball community eagerly awaits the resolution of this intriguing scenario, which promises to shape the strategic framework of the Bucks' forthcoming season.