Celtics, Clippers Reportedly Agree in Principle to Deal For Doc Rivers

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJune 23, 2013

After much speculation surrounding a potential move, the Los Angeles Clippers have made it official and acquired head coach Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics, pending approval from the league.

UPDATE: Monday, June 24, at 11:55 p.m. ET by Eric Ball

Monday has come and gone, and the Clippers still don't officially have a new coach. Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston has the details on what's taking so long:

The official completion of the deal that will send Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers is being delayed because Rivers and his representatives are still reviewing the wording in the coach's new contract.

Rivers and his representatives also are recommending changes in the language of the three-year, $21 million deal, according to league sources.

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UPDATE: Monday, June 24, at 5:40 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow

Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe has an update on the Doc Rivers trade, and it seems like the league has been unable to push the deal through as they wait for the Clippers to agree to terms with the head coach on a contract.

That source said the league has not approved any deal and the Celtics are in wait-and-see mode as Monday reaches the early evening. The Celtics have yet to cancel their scheduled press conference, which was originally set for noon and the Hall of Fame Room at the Sports Authority Practice Facility has been prepared for a press conference for three days.

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 UPDATE: Monday, June 24, at 3:30 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

ESPN Boston has the latest on Doc Rivers to the Clippers.

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Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston has the news:

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.

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times confirmed the report, saying the deal is for a 2015 unprotected first-round draft choice.

However, despite the agreement in principle, Ken Berger of CBS Sports is reporting it is no guarantee that the league will approve the swap.

With an original scenario that had included a trade for Kevin Garnett, it was noted by MacMullan that NBA commissioner David Stern has objected "to the appearance that the KG deal (for DeAndre Jordan) and Rivers were related."

ESPN's Marc Stein is also reporting that the league does not intend to budge from its original stance as it pertains to Garnett.

If the move for Rivers were to go through, Stein is also reporting that Chris Paul has told the Clippers that Rivers' presence in Los Angeles would secure him for the next five seasons on a max contract.

As for what Rivers' staff may look like, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Alvin Gentry is a strong candidate, but is still in the running for a head coaching position of his own.

The Clippers, of course, won a franchise-record 56 games during the 2012-13 regular season, but after falling to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA playoffs, the organization decided it was time to part ways with Vinny Del Negro, electing not to renew the polarizing head coach's contract. 

Several available names were brought up in discussions for a replacement. According to the Los Angeles Times' Broderick Turner, Lionel Hollins, Byron Scott, Brian Shaw and Nate McMillan, among others, were all given consideration. 

But in the end, Los Angeles went with an "unavailable" name.

Rivers went 416-305 (.577) with the Celtics and led them to seven playoff appearances during his nine seasons. He won the NBA title in 2008 and made it back to the finals in 2010 before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.

After that kind of success, it didn't seem Rivers was even on the brink of leaving Boston. 

However, according to Wojnarowski, he didn't want to stay if the Celtics were going to get rid of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, thus entering rebuilding mode. There were also rumors of locker-room tension with the Celtics' new franchise player, Rajon Rondo.

This transaction continues the recent remarkable rate of overturn among head coaches, per ESPN's Tom Haberstroh:

In 2013-14, there will be 13 new head coaches, with seven of those being on playoff teams. Nevertheless, the Clippers got their man.

As long as he can help convince superstar free agent Chris Paul to stay in L.A., Rivers will undoubtedly enjoy more of that success with a very talented Clippers squad. 


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