With Doc Rivers in Fold, Clippers Turn Sights on Chris Paul

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With Doc Rivers in Fold, Clippers Turn Sights on Chris Paul
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Doc Rivers is considered one of the best coaches in the NBA, and now he'll be coaching the Clippers. It just took a while to make that happen. Almost two weeks of haggling, negotiating and wrangling were required for the Clippers to finally pry Rivers away from the Boston Celtics, for the price of a first-round draft pick in 2015 that will not be lottery-protected. And it took several more hours for Rivers and his representatives to finalize the deal Tuesday with Clippers owner Donald Sterling before the NBA was able to approve it. There were details and language in the contract that needed to be cleared up before Rivers agreed to a three-year, $21-million deal — the same number of years and dollar figure that were left on his Boston contract. According to the executives, Rivers had to make sure he had the standard NBA coach's arbitration clause in his contract. The executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter, said the clause states that if Rivers is fired and has any disputes, Sterling has to pay all the legal fees. Rivers signed the contract Tuesday before he boarded a flight to Los Angeles, the executives said. Rivers, 51, was also given the title of senior vice president of basketball operations, meaning he'll have a significant role in personnel decisions. Gary Sacks remains in his role as the Clippers' vice president of basketball operations.

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