After over a week of heavy rumors, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers have reportedly set on a deal that sends Doc Rivers to the west coast. The deal will not be 100% complete until the Clippers finalize a new deal with Rivers and the league officially approves things.
The two teams have been linked to each other for months now, but speculation never amounted to anything but that, even over the course of the past week. Last week, the Celtics and Clippers began discussing a blockbuster deal that eventually fell through later that same day. Talks resumed throughout this past week on numerous occasions, but things continuously feel through. On Sunday however, the two sides finally reached an agreement that releases Rivers from his contract with the Celtics and in turn sends a 2015 first round pick to Boston.
It was reported earlier in the week that the two sides were close to a deal that would include veteran forward Kevin Garnett in exchange for another first round pick and DeAndre Jordan. However, David Stern made things clear even before a potential deal was reached that that wouldn’t fly under the new CBA agreement.
With that being said, it is expected that the two sides will once again be speaking soon, as Garnett and Jordan could eventually swap places when all is said and done. The league office will likely be a lot stricter on that, so this is far from over.
Yahoo! Sports‘ Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday that the two sides were agreeing on this initial deal that now puts Boston on the market for a new head coach. The deal will not be complete until a new contract is finalized between Rivers and the Clippers.
Brian Shaw, who was in consideration for the Clippers’ job prior to the deal, will likely be an early candidate for the Celtics. Boston could also be interested in pursuing George Karl or Lionel Hollins, but we will learn more about that in the coming days.
As for the Clippers, well this could just be the first of a few moves. Don’t be surprised if the team is seeking yet another trade (with Boston) and of course their biggest focus will be re-signing free agent point guard, Chris Paul. According to numerous reports, Paul has been pushing and pushing hard for the Clippers to finalize a deal to get Rivers to the west coast, so with this now all but complete, it becomes obvious that Los Angeles is the frontrunner for the free agent point guard.
In all, this is one major deal down in an off-season that could surely include many more.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS