Clippers management was thinking that two first-round picks may be a bit too much to give up for a Hall of Fame-level coach. Clippers point guard Chris Paul was thinking it wasn’t much at all.
What both sides can agree on, though, is that the Clippers — draft picks or not — are better off if Paul stays around, and that means making the deal for Celtics coach Doc Rivers happen.
The Clippers restarted talks to try to get Rivers out of his Celtics contract Wednesday after Paul was said to have encouraged them to do so. Now, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Clippers hope to complete the deal Thursday, with Clippers management meeting Wednesday night to work on the details.
Los Angeles would send DeAndre Jordan and two first-round draft picks to the Celtics to release Rivers from his contract and acquire Kevin Garnett, according to Wojnarowski.
Paul, a free agent, told the Clippers the deal “would be essential” to him returning to the team after negotiations first fell apart Tuesday, according to the report. But Paul’s commitment was also vital in keeping Rivers interested in the move.
“Doc is taking the job to coach Chris Paul,” Wojnarowski quotes a league source as saying. “This isn’t happening if Chris planned to leave.”
The Clippers were loath to give up two first-round picks at first, according to reports, but the added bonus of keeping Paul for sure could be the deciding factor in making the once-far-fetched deal take place.