New details have surfaced about the proposed Doc Rivers-to-Los Angeles trade, and these developments paint the deal in a whole new light.
Many have speculated that Rivers desired to leave Boston because he did not want to be part of a rebuilding process. That much is true, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports, but it was the Celtics, not the coach, that initiated talks with other teams.
According to Bulpett, who cites a “person with knowledge of the situation,” the team asked Rivers, who was reportedly mulling whether to return for a 10th season in Boston or step away from coaching, if there were any coaching vacancies around the NBA that intrigued him.
Rivers reportedly passed on the Nets but said he did have interest in coaching the Clippers, upon which he learned that the team had already engaged in preliminary discussions with Los Angeles. The Clippers chose not to renew head coach Vinny Del Negro‘s contract in May after the most successful season in franchise history.
The reported package of two trades, which has been nixed by the NBA as a violation of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, would have sent Rivers and Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles and brought DeAndre Jordan and an undisclosed number of draft picks to Boston. Bulpett reports that the proposed deal would also give Rivers some control over the Clippers’ player personnel.
The NBA prohibits the trading of coaches in deals involving players or transactions contingent on player movement. ESPN reports that the Clippers now have their sights on acquiring Rivers in a stand-alone deal before attempting to pursue Garnett.
Rivers, like many Celtics fans, is reportedly growing tired of the negotiations, and Bulpett’s source claims he may pull himself out if a deal is not completed by Friday morning. Should the deal fall through, Rivers will have the option of returning to the Celtics or taking time off from coaching, likely to work as a television analyst.