Doc Rivers to LA trade set, in principle
Barring any interference from the league, Doc Rivers will no longer be the coach of the Boston Celtics and will become the new head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.
In a rare move, the Boston Celtics will give the LA Clippers contractual rights to coach Rivers in exchange for a 2015 first-round draft pick, reports the Associated Press. Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss had no announcement about the deal, and the source who revealed it remained anonymous since the trade must pass the approval of the NBA offices and David Stern.
The Clippers and Celtics had been going back and forth about the deal for a while now, originally making it a blockbuster involving Boston’s Kevin Garnett and LA’s DeAndre Jordan and possibly Eric Bledsoe. This blockbuster didn’t happen because David Stern said a coach cannot be traded in the same deal as players and money. Garnett may still be traded, and possibly other older pieces from a very successful Celtics franchise that has regressed recently, as the team is looking to rebuild.
The Celtics seem to be very happy with the deal as getting a first-round draft pick was a crucial part of it for them. The pick is not lottery-protected, something Boston very much wanted, even though the Clippers want it to be lottery protected according to the LA Times.
It is now up to the Clippers to renegotiate with Rivers, as they get the 3-years and $25 million remaining on his contract with the Celtics. Although other reports say he has been released from that contract and that the Clippers are resigning him to an identical one.
On Friday and Saturday it seemed that talks were dead and could not be resuscitated. The Clippers were even moving forward intensely with one of their other top choices at coach, Byron Scott. It may have been that moving forward with Scott was an attempt to force Boston’s hand and make a simple-enough trade. If so, it was successful.
Now the Clippers just have to hope that having Rivers as coach will be enough to convince All-Star Chris Paul to stay, and possibly get his friend Dwight Howard to join him in LA.