Failed Rivers-to-Clippers Deal Leaves Boston Questioning

Published On June 17, 2013 | By Justin McGrail

The Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics discussed the possibility of acquiring coach Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett but a deal wasn’t completed because the Celtics’ asking price was too high. Boston asked for center Deandre Jordan, guard Eric Bledsoe and two draft picks.

Rivers still has three years remaining on the five-year extension he signed back in 2011. He also has a non-compete clause built into his deal, which means he cannot coach anywhere else in the NBA unless the team gives him permission.

Garnett has a no-trade clause built into his contract but it is believed he would waive that to follow Rivers to the Clippers if both sides agree to terms.

The trade stalled because the Clippers were unwilling to part with Bledsoe. Starting point guard Chris Paul is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and the team wants to keep Bledsoe in the off chance that Paul doesn’t re-sign with Los Angeles.

Boston wants to keep Rivers on the sidelines but is exploring other options. “(President of basketball operations) Danny [Ainge] would still like Doc to coach and would still like to make that happen,” a source said, “but there’s more focus right now on looking at other options.”

Rivers hasn’t made any public comments about his current coaching situation since bowing out of the playoffs at the hands of the New York Knicks. He usually stays quiet during the offseason, but ESPN sources say Rivers is unsure of his future.

“Doc loves coaching,” the source told ESPN. “He loves coaching in Boston. But he feels it may be time for a change.”

And after all this drama over whether to stay despite years and millions left on Rivers’ contract, it seems Boston fans may be ready for a change as well. After all, why support a coach who is making it clear loyalty is not of utmost importance to him?

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