Clippers Reach Deal for Doc Rivers
After days of wrangling, negotiating and posturing, the Los Angeles Clippers have agreed in principle to a deal with the Celtics for coach Doc Rivers, pending league approval, according to sources.
Sources confirmed on Sunday that the Clippers will sign Rivers to a three-year, $21 million contract. They will send a first-round pick as compensation for the Boston Celtics, who have agreed to release the coach from the three years, $21 million he has remaining on his deal with the club.
Contrary to previous reports, according to league and team sources, the Celtics have been complicit all along in assisting Rivers make the switch from Boston to Los Angeles.
Although Danny Ainge, the Celtics’ director of basketball operations, was initially irked that Rivers was lukewarm about returning to Boston, where a rebuilding process will soon be underway, team sources said he recognized the best way to accumulate first-round draft picks, which he covets, would be to relinquish his two most valued assets — Rivers and Kevin Garnett. Since then, he and Rivers have been working side by side to secure a deal that is best for both parties, sources said.
Team sources confirmed Ainge has also been trying to secure a first-round pick for veteran Paul Pierce, who can be bought out by June 30 for $5 million. The Celtics have been unsuccessful thus far, leaving open the possibility they keep Pierce and his $15.3 million contract on their books, and attempt to deal him again at the trade deadline next winter, when teams historically look for veteran help and are willing to overpay.