By Jose Grijalva, Project Spurs.com
If you thought the Ray Allen-Boston Celtics drama is tops on Doc Rivers' list on his worst negotiating failures, think again. Rivers still recalls as a “bigger failure” from 12 years ago to Rob Bradford from WEEI.com Green Street:
“I lost a bigger one, and probably learned a lot of lessons from that. Tim Duncan in Orlando,” he said. “We never had him, but I thought we had him turned and we lost him. So I’All always remember that one.”
It's safe to assume that Rivers probably has flashbacks of that lost 2000 offseason opportunity and a few “what could have been's” lingering around his mind. A team with then free agents Tim Duncan and Grant Hill accompanying a young star in Tracy McGrady may do that to a coach. Grant Hill's professionalism and skills partnered with Duncan's “quiet leadership” and his acceptance of being treated the same way as the last player on the bench will do that to a coach. There's no way of predicting that Hill would still be plagued by injuries throughout his Magic tenure and career if Duncan signed, but the possibility of a healthy Grant Hill would've brought unlimited possibilities in a then weak Eastern Conference.
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