The Clippers signed Doc Rivers as their new coach Tuesday and will send a… (Jared Wickerham / Getty…)
It took almost two weeks of wrangling, but the Clippers finally got their coach when the NBA on Tuesday approved a deal for Doc Rivers to come to L.A. from the Boston Celtics.
Once all the details and language of Rivers’ contract were worked out between his representatives and the Clippers, the paperwork was sent to the NBA so the deal could be finalized. The Clippers will send the Celtics an unprotected first-round draft pick in 2015 as part of the deal.
The Clippers and Rivers, 51, will have a news conference Wednesday to announce him as the new coach to succeed Vinny Del Negro.
Rivers, who will have a say in all personnel matters along with Gary Sacks, the Clippers’ vice president of basketball operations, is also the team’s senior vice president of basketball operations.
The Clippers assumed the last three years Rivers had on his contract with the Celtics for $21 million.
Before he boarded a flight to Los Angeles on Tuesday, Rivers signed a three-year deal with the Clippers that will pay him $7 million per year, said NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The deal the Clippers and Celtics agreed to in principle Sunday night for Rivers to come to L.A. and for the Clippers to send Boston a draft pick as compensation was expected to be completed Monday, but was held up another day.
Now that it’s done, the Clippers' next priority is to get Chris Paul re-signed, something most believe will happen now that Rivers is the coach.
The Clippers are expected to offer Paul, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent July 1, a maximum five-year contract worth $107.3 million.
[Updated at 3:02 p.m. Tuesday: Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had his name tossed around in trade talks for weeks with the Celtics. But Jordan said Thursday he still wants to be with the Clippers — as long as Rivers wants him to be on the team.
When the Clippers and Celtics first began talks about a deal almost two weeks ago, Rivers and Celtics’ forward/center Kevin Garnett were part of the package coming to L.A. for Jordan and a first-round draft pick.
But NBA Commissioner David Stern rejected that deal, saying it was illegal under the collective bargaining agreement for a player to be traded for a coach.
So the 24-year-old Jordan, who averaged 8.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and made just 38.6% of his free throws last season, is still with the Clippers.
"I don’t want Doc to be like, 'Oh, we couldn’t get KG here.' As long as Doc wants me here, I want to be here,” Jordan told The Times on Tuesday. "I know he’s one of the best coaches out there. I want to play for Doc. I feel like Doc can help me become the defensive player of the year. I know he really preaches defense."
Add Blake Griffin to those who like the hiring of Rivers as the Clippers new coach.
“Of all the coaches that were available, he was the best in my opinion,” Griffin said Tuesday. “I'm really excited about this. I haven't been this excited in a while. It gives us strong guidance from a coaching staff.”]
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