Just when you thought it was safe to close the book on the Doc Rivers fiasco, the Clippers came back and re-entered the Celtics’ lives.
Two days after talks were suspended when the teams could not agree on terms for a deal, the Clippers reportedly reached back out the Celtics on Wednesday. The Clippers, who refused to send Eric Bledsoe to Boston, accept Jason Terry or Courtney Lee in return or part with a second first-round draft pick, apparently wanted to revive talks “with a full understanding that free agent Chris Paul wants this deal completed,” Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.[tweet https://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/status/347472018414923776 align=’center’] [tweet https://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/status/347473048418525186 align=’center’]
The most recently reported version of the transaction would send Rivers and Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles, with center DeAndre Jordan and at least one first-round draft pick coming to Boston.
The Clippers hiring Rivers would assure Paul re-signs, it is believed, to an extent that hiring Lionel Hollins or Brian Shaw would not. The Clippers reportedly walked away from negotiations on Monday, insisting Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge‘s demand for Jordan and two first-round draft picks was too high. Their thinking now appears to have changed.
The only impediment to a deal now appears to be the draft picks. The Clippers are prepared to offer Rivers a five-year, $35 million contract and are willing to eat the $3.5 million trade kicker in Jordan’s contract. But the Clippers only want to part with one pick (presumably in the late first round, if Rivers and Garnett pan out like the Clippers hope), while the Celtics want two picks.