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Clippers, Celtics Agree on Deal for Doc Rivers

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

In exchange for an unprotected 2015 1st round pick, the Clippers can sign Rivers to be coach.

Clippers, Celtics Agree on Deal for Doc Rivers

The courtship between the Clippers and Celtics has finally ended. The Clippers have their coach, and the Celtics have some compensation, if the NBA approves.

Yahoo! basketball reporter Adrian Wojnarowski reported yesterday that both sides reached an agreement for the Clippers to hire Celtics coach Doc Rivers in exchange for an unprotected 2015 first round draft pick. The Clippers and Rivers agreed on a 3-year, $21 million contract for him to become head coach. The NBA still has to approve the deal, and David Stern had come out last week saying he would shoot down deals that involved multiple players and Rivers. Wojnarowski reported that the Clippers expect the league to grant approval, however.

The most important aspect of bringing in Rivers for the Los Angeles Clippers is appeasing star point guard Chris Paul. Rivers represents a coaching upgrade over recently ousted Vinny Del Negro, but Del Negro did lead the Clips to their best regular season in franchise history last year. Rivers has the championship pedigree with the Celtics and is a fine in-game coach. Paul has the guy he wants in there running things now, and if that keeps him with the Clippers, it was worth the draft pick.

The pick the Boston Celtics gets likely won't be that great (though strange things happen in this league), and even with the report that Rivers was going to return to Boston, the relationship there was likely going to be strained by the events of the past week. Now, in addition to the decisions that need to be made on aging veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics are now in need of a coach. 

It's an important offseason for both clubs. The Clippers are trying to improve on their ever-growing success, and got off to a good start by bringing in Rivers. The Celtics need to figure out where they are as a franchise, and losing Rivers sends them further in flux.

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