Clippers, Celtics agree to deal for Doc Rivers, report says (updated)

June 23, 2013

The Clippers reportedly were urged to resume talks by Chris Paul, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and favors playing for Doc Rivers. (Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images for Sports Spectacular)

Updated at 6 p.m.

An agreement in principle has been reached for a trade that will allow Coach Doc Rivers to leave the Boston Celtics for the Los Angeles Clippers, ESPN reports.

Rivers will sign a three-year, $21-million contract, according to Jackie MacMullan. In return, the Celtics will receive a first-round draft in return for releasing Rivers from his contract, which had three years at $21 million remaining.

The trade will, of course, require league approval. The Celtics have scheduled a noon Monday press conference.

Original post

Doc Rivers may just become coach of the Los Angeles Clippers after all.

After a week of stop-and-go negiations, the Clippers are close to acquiring the Boston Celtics coach, the Boston Globe reported. The Clippers have offered a 2014 first-round draft pick in exchange for getting the Celtics to allow Rivers out of his contract. The deal, according to the Globe, would be sent to the NBA for approval Monday. ESPN also reported that talks have resumed and intensified.

Players, including Kevin Garnett, DeAndre Jordan and others were reportedly involved in trade scenarios last week and at one point it appeared that a player trade would be separated from a picks-for-Rivers deal, but NBA Commissioner David Stern issued a strong warning that trading a coach would be tricky.

“I would say, in the language of diplomacy, that the teams are aware that the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t authorize trades involving coaches’ contracts,” Stern said in an interview with Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco on ESPN Radio. “The only consideration that can be done here in player transactions is other players, draft picks and a very limited amount of cash. But coaches’ contracts don’t qualify as extra consideration — or acceptable consideration — in player contracts.

“The teams know that. It has been confirmed to them. … What the rules won’t allow can’t be gotten around by breaking it up into two transactions.”

Presumably hiring Rivers would ensure that the Clippers retain Chris Paul, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · June 21, 2013

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