Clippers, Celtics in talks about Doc Rivers
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics are engaged in discussions about a deal that would send forward Kevin Garnett to the Clippers and give them the right to hire Celtics coach Doc Rivers, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks. The person said they are willing to give up two first-round draft picks and young center DeAndre Jordan in exchange for Garnett and Rivers’ rights.
The Clippers’ lack of willingness to give up third-year point guard Eric Bledsoe could be a dealbreaker. They fear that they would be compromising their future by giving him up and are currently contemplating using him in a sign-and-trade that could involve forward Blake Griffin and land Lakers and free-agent-to-be Dwight Howard. Other players who are the Clippers’ radar as possible upgrades by way of a trade involving Bledsoe include Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo and Indiana small forward Danny Granger.
Garnett has a no-trade clause, but is expected to waive it for the chance to join Clippers point guard and free-agent-to-be Chris Paul in Los Angeles. It’s expected that Paul would re-sign, of course, and attempt to win his first championship with the Celtics core that last won it all in 2007.
Yet the Clippers’ pursuit of Celtics small forward Paul Pierce is not believed to be part of the trade talks, as the more likely approach is that they would anticipate Boston utilizing the $5 million buyout option on the final year of his contract for next season (he’s owed $15.3 million) and then sign him as a free agent.
Rivers has three years and $21 million left on his contract, but he’s looking to remain part of a title-contending team rather than take part in a Celtics rebuild. The Clippers parted ways with coach Vinny Del Negro last month, and candidates include former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, former Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Hornets coach Byron Scott, former Indiana Pacers and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw and former Denver coach George … [For more on L.A. Clippers, Boston Celtics in talks about Doc Rivers, click here.]