It appears that the saga surrounding Doc Rivers and his proposed cross-country relocation from the Boston Celtics' bench to the Los Angeles Clippers' bench will drag out at least one more day.
Sources close to the process told ESPN.com that the Celtics and Clippers held "substantive discussions" Monday on the proposed multi-layered transactions that would send Rivers and Celtics star Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles. But the teams, sources say, remain unable to agree on a final trade framework to go through with the two deals, even after Boston relented on its insistence that the Clippers include prized young guard Eric Bledsoe as part of the package for Rivers and Garnett.
Another element of the talks, sources said, is the negotiations between Rivers and the Clippers on a coaching contract. Rivers has three years left on his original five-year, $35 million deal with the Celtics and will be looking to stay in the same salary range if Boston ultimately receives what it deems sufficient compensation to let the 51-year-old out of that deal.
So the Clippers, in what NBA coaching sources are terming a "separate process," have moved ahead with their coaching search just in case, for one reason or another, they'll be unable to pry Rivers out of Boston. They've arranged sitdowns this week for Byron Scott (Tuesday) and Brian Shaw (Wednesday) with Clippers owner Donald Sterling, with the other finalist for the Clippers' job before the pursuit of Rivers got serious -- Lionel Hollins -- having already met with Sterling.
Yet numerous sources connected to talks continued to express optimism Monday that the Celtics and Clippers will agree to terms this week, with some interpreting the Clippers' plans to resume talks with the likes of Shaw and Scott as their latest thinly veiled message to the Celtics that they aren't afraid to walk away from the table.
"It's a dance right now," said one source close to the process. "I think it'll eventually happen. They're just staring at each other."
Said another: "It's certainly not dead. I think they have an idea of the main parties who would be involved, but now they've got to figure out smaller details and negotiate a deal with Doc."
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The latest as negotiations between the Clippers and Celtics heat up again:
The Celtics and Clippers have relaunched discussions on a new trade framework that could bring a resolution to the complicated talks regarding coach Doc Rivers and star forward Kevin Garnett potentially going to Los Angeles in a multiplayer deal, according to sources close to the process.
With the Clippers adamant that prized young guard Eric Bledsoe will not be included in the trade for Garnett, sources told ESPN.com one proposed tweak to end the weekend stalemate in the talks is the prospect of the Clippers taking back the contract of either Courtney Lee or Jason Terry from the Celtics.
Shedding the long-term money owed to either Lee or Terry, sources said, could convince the Celtics to relent on their demand that Bledsoe be included in the trade. A deal could be completed later Monday or by Tuesday, sources said.
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The initial talks with Boston, sources said Saturday, were focused on the Clippers satisfying Boston's compensation demands to let Rivers out of his lucrative contract and corresponding trade proposals aimed at bringing Garnett to town with Rivers. The Clippers, sources said, are willing to surrender cash and multiple draft picks to secure Rivers' services and offer young center DeAndre Jordan as the primary piece in a deal in exchange for Garnett. But sources said Saturday the Clippers, at present, are refusing to include the highly coveted Bledsoe with Jordan in the same trade in hopes of keeping Bledsoe for a separate transaction.
* Rapid reaction: The Celtics have no reason to let Rivers out of his contract without securing a ransom for his services. Getting back Jordan and a late-round pick simply isn't enough to part with both Rivers and Garnett (the Clippers need to put Bledsoe back into play and/or help Boston remove some of its other salary cap clog). Boston clearly feels it's in a power position here, able to retain Rivers (or at least his rights if he ultimately elects to spend next season in the broadcast booth) if no deal can be struck with Los Angeles. From the beginning, it appeared tough to satisfy both sides with so many moving parts. Now it appears the deal will go into a holding pattern and we'll have to see if the Clippers move forward with pursuing a free-agent coach like Lionel Hollins or Brian Shaw. Even after this flirtation with Los Angeles, there's no reason to believe Rivers wouldn't still be welcome in Boston, his offseason silence allowing him to downplay all of this hoopla if he elects to return for a 10th season on the bench.
The Los Angeles Clippers believe they have the trade assets to reunite Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in L.A. if those prominent members of the Boston Celtics all prove open or able to leave the perennial Eastern Conference power, according to sources close to the process.
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CLICK HERE to read Chris Forsberg's column on how the Celtics are stuck at a crossroads, but might be able to facilitate a faster rebuild by acquiring some young talent from the Clippers in exchange for Rivers & Co.
Yahoo! Sports reported Saturday that Kevin Garnett would be willing to waive his no-trade clause if the Celtics and Clippers can finalize a package deal involving Rivers.
Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Rivers is highly intrigued by the idea of coaching the Clippers should he not return to Boston for a 10th season on the bench. By utilizing Rivers as a trade asset and working a separate deal for Garnett, Boston could land a combination of young talent, expiring contracts, and future draft picks to aid its own overdue roster overhaul.
The Celtics and Clippers engaged in trade talks at February's deadline, including a potential swap that would have saw Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan come to Boston in exchange for Garnett. According to the Yahoo! report, the final hurdle of this potential deal would be the Clippers including Bledsoe in a package that could also include two first-round draft picks and Jordan.
* Summer Cooler - Hour 1 (with Simmons interview)
* Summer Cooler - Hour 2 (with Bulpett interview)
So if the Clippers wanted to trade for Garnett and Pierce, who make $28,356,610, in one big mega-trade before July 1, they would need to send out at least $22,605,288. Let's start with DeAndre Jordan, who makes $10,532,977, and Caron Butler, who makes $8,000,000. Those two add up to $18,532,977. The Clippers would still need another $4,072,311 under this scenario, which would not be met even if they included Eric Bledsoe and Willie Green, who combine to make less than that. They could make it work if they included Jamal Crawford, but sources say Crawford would not be included in the deal. That means the Clippers would go to the second option, which would be doing two separate trades. In this scenario, according to Coon, they get 150 percent or $5 million rather than just the 125 percent they get by acquiring them together. So they could trade Jordan and Bledsoe for Pierce and then Butler for Garnett. These two separate but parallel trades would work from a numbers standpoint.
If they wait until after July 1, they need to send out $22,133,656 if they wanted to trade for both together. Jordan and Butler add up to $18,986,550, so they'd need another $3,147,106. Bledsoe and Green would add up to enough. Separately they'd need to send out $7,433,735 for Garnett, and Butler is still enough there, and they'd need to send out $10,155,556 for Pierce, and Jordan is enough but the Clippers would likely be forced to add Bledsoe as well. Either way you cut it, the Clippers can certainly make a deal under the new CBA this summer that would bring Garnett and Pierce to Los Angeles for a package that would include Jordan, Butler, Bledsoe and possibly Green.
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* Bonus Link: The Los Angeles Times quotes NBA executives who said the idea of a Celtics-Clippers swap was "far-fetched" given Boston's perceived demands.
From the Times Union:
First, the Celtics measured Anosike's height (6-foot-7 without shoes), weight (243 pounds) and wingspan (7-foot-4), along with his body fat and vertical leap. He and the other players worked out for about an hour, went through shooting drills and then did conditioning.
Anosike was accompanied by better-known prospects such as Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. and Georgia Tech's Glen Rice Jr., both sons of former NBA stars. Anosike went one-on-one against Illinois State's Jackie Carmichael, a 6-foot-9 forward who averaged 17.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game last season.
"He's a really good player," Anosike said. "He's really physical. He's got a skill set with him. I just went in there and did my best. I think I got the best of him."
Anosike and the others were watched by Celtics assistant coaches, scouts and director of player personnel Austin Ainge. Head coach Doc Rivers wasn't present at the workout because he was traveling back from an NBA meeting, according to an ESPN report. Anosike said he didn't think Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, Austin's father, was in attendance, either.
Hop HERE to read the full story. Or HERE for more on Anosike's NBA quest.
The latest twist in the Doc Rivers saga? Sources told ESPN on Thursday that there is strong mutual interest between Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers if he were to move on from Boston:
The Los Angeles Clippers have not formally requested permission to interview Celtics coach Doc Rivers in the wake of widespread reports about Rivers' potential departure from Boston, but there is strong mutual interest between the parties, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday that Rivers is highly intrigued by the idea of coaching the Clippers in the event that he and the Celtics part company after nine seasons together and one championship in 2008. Sources say that the Clippers, meanwhile, would immediately vault Rivers to the top of their list if he became available as they continue a coaching search that, to this point, has focused on Brian Shaw, Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins.
Earlier Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times, citing several NBA executives, reported that if Rivers decides he doesn't want to coach in Boston anymore, the Clippers would be interested in him and he would become their No. 1 choice.
ESPN.com has also learned that the Celtics and Clippers -- in an offshoot of February's Kevin Garnett-to-L.A. trade talks -- discussed expanded trade scenarios that could have sent both Garnett and close friend Paul Pierce to the Clippers before the league's Feb. 21 trade deadline.
Sources say that those talks, before breaking down, were centered on Boston getting back both prized Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe and young center DeAndre Jordan and did not involve Clippers star forward Blake Griffin.
It is not yet known whether the Clippers intend to revive those trade discussions and pursue either Garnett or Pierce -- or both -- in conjunction with this month's NBA draft. But one source familiar with the Clippers' thinking told ESPN.com that the club plans to be "very aggressive" and "shake every tree" in terms of upgrading the roster this offseason. Acquiring Garnett or Pierce -- or both -- would naturally make Rivers even more of a natural coaching target for the Clippers than he already is.
And a quick note about Rivers and the Celtics from the bottom of that story:
Rivers was originally scheduled to attend Boston's workout Thursday of potential draftees but was delayed after traveling back from a competition committee meeting at the NBA Finals in San Antonio. Sources say Rivers has attended most of Boston's draft workouts while deliberating about his future and has likewise been involved in Boston's free-agent planning as well as visits with veterans Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Jason Terry, who have all been at the Celtics' workout facility rehabbing from injuries.
On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you Doc Rivers will coach the Celtics next season?
* Michael Pina: 6. Since the season ended, I thought every bit of news related to Doc Rivers’ departure was simply the result of impatient reporters trying to fill an always-hungry 24-hour news cycle. When Rivers had the opportunity to squash the rumors and didn’t, I became very, very nervous.
* Brian Robb: 7. All of the rumors are legitimate, but the underlying factor that makes me feel better about the situation is the timing. If Doc really was going to bail out, my guess is he would have pulled the trigger by now. Staying has always been the default choice and since we are just two weeks away from the NBA Draft with the coaching free agent market trying up, I don’t think Rivers will put the franchise in that challenging predicament.
* Ryan DeGama: 5. Is Doc waiting to find out if Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are returning? Is he holding off on his decision until he knows how quickly Danny Ainge can rebuild? As KG bellowed, anything is possible. But this time, it’s not in a good way. The caveat: nobody, Rivers included, is well-suited to coach a rebuilding team if his heart’s not in it.
Hop HERE to read the full 3-on-3 on CelticsHub.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA Insider Marc Stein discusses the chances the Celtics and Clippers will be able to work out a deal, says Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce want to remain together and chats about the possibility that the Clippers and Lakers will make a trade.
Play Podcast ESPNLA.com's Ramona Shelburne says the Celtics and Clippers are in a stare-down over a deal that would send Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett to L.A. Shelburne also discusses the possibility of a trade between the Clippers and Lakers and talks about where she feels Dwight Howard will be at the start of next season.
Play Podcast ESPN's Bill Simmons gives his take on Dwyane Wade's performance in Game 4, Manu Ginobili's struggles and Doc Rivers' future with the Celtics.