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Clippers, Celtics still discussing Doc Rivers, but no deal in sight

Talks resume then stall again as teams try to negotiate a trade that would let Boston Coach Doc Rivers come to L.A. Meanwhile, Clippers make contingency plans.

June 17, 2013|By Broderick Turner
  • Talks between the Clippers and Boston Celtics regarding Doc Rivers are at a standstill, but are not completely over.
Talks between the Clippers and Boston Celtics regarding Doc Rivers are… (Boston Globe via Getty Images )

The melodrama created by the Clippers and Boston Celtics continued Monday, with no apparent end yet in sight.

The main characters are Boston Coach Doc Rivers and All-Star forward Kevin Garnett, trying to get to the Clippers as a duo. The men calling the shots — Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and Clippers vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks — can't seem to reach agreement on a mutually satisfactory deal.

So both organizations were stuck in neutral by Monday evening after player names were tossed back and forth, the talks at a standstill but not completely over, according to NBA executives who did not want to be identified by name because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the situation.

The two sides intend to keep the talks alive Tuesday. But the Clippers also plan to have coaching candidates Byron Scott and Brian Shaw meet with owner Donald Sterling this week in case the team can't make a deal to get Rivers, executives said.

Shaw, associate head coach of the Indiana Pacers, on Tuesday is scheduled to meet for the second time with the Denver Nuggets about their head-coach vacancy. Then Shaw is to meet with Sterling on Wednesday. Shaw interviewed face to face with the Clippers last week, but this will be his first sit-down with Sterling, executives said.

Scott, former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Hornets and New Jersey Nets, is scheduled to meet with Sterling on Tuesday afternoon, the executives said. Scott also met with the Clippers last Tuesday but didn't talk with Sterling.

Former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins remains in the mix too, the executives said. Hollins, who met with Sterling last week, is to interview for the Denver job Wednesday.

The only thing the Clippers and Celtics were able to agree upon Monday was that Clippers backup point guard Eric Bledsoe wouldn't be included in the deal, according to the executives. Everything else got stuck.

The Celtics, executives said, were willing to send the Clippers the rights to negotiate a coaching contract with Rivers and to trade Garnett, 37, who was willing to waive his no-trade clause. And the Clippers were said to remain willing to send center DeAndre Jordan and a first-round draft pick to the Celtics.

Boston countered by asking for a second No. 1 pick if Bledsoe wasn't going to be in the deal. Then both sides tossed out names.

According to executives, the Celtics wanted to include either Courtney Lee or Jason Terry so they could get some salary-cap relief. Lee, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, has three years for $16.2 million left on his deal. Terry, a 6-2 guard, has two years for $10.6 million.

The Clippers wanted to add small forward Caron Butler, who has an expiring contract worth $8 million, to the deal.

Neither of those scenarios was acceptable to both sides.

An added wrinkle in the talks: The Clippers, executives said, are waiting to see what the Celtics do with Paul Pierce, whose $15.3-million contract for next season can be bought out for $5 million. That would have to happen by the end of the month.

If Pierce becomes available, the Clippers could try to sign him so he could join Rivers and Garnett, who has two years and $24.4 million left on his deal, in L.A.

Rivers earns $7 million per season on a deal that has three years left.

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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