The L.A. Clippers believe they are on the cusp of becoming title contenders, they just need a big man and a new coach. They believe they can get both from the Boston Celtics.
Kevin Garnett seems okay with the concept of being traded to the L.A. Clippers, along with his coach, Doc Rivers. PHOTO: Keith Allison, CC License
The L.A. Clippers believe they are on the cusp of becoming title contenders, they just need a big man and a new coach. They believe they can get both from the Boston Celtics. A strange trade is brewing between the two squads, as the Clippers try to complete their puzzle and the Celtics look to start building a new era now that Ray Allen is gone and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett aren't getting any younger.
Here is how things stand as of now, according to the latest rumors:
The Clippers would get power forward Kevin Garnett and Coach Doc Rivers. How does one trade a coach? Technically you don't. Instead, the Celtics would release the non-compete part of Rivers' contract, which pays him $7 million over the next three years. Rivers would then be free to sign with the Clippers, which he has presumably agreed to do. Incidentally, Garnett has also indicated he would waive his no trade clause to make the deal happen. Neither seem too broken up about leaving the Celtics.
The Celtics would get young big man DeAndre Jordan and send the Clippers Jason Terry or Courtney Lee. The second part of that would be addition by subtraction, namely the addition of space under the Celtics salary cap. The Celtics had originally insisted that they receive young guard Eric Bledsoe in the deal, but they have since backed off on the condition that they can move some deadweight salary.
The parts of this deal that seem strange are simply new realities that we haven't gotten used to yet. Garnett and Rivers see that the Celtics need to get younger, and that they probably won't be good enough to compete for a title before Garnett calls it a day. Rivers may have lost his touch with the team, and three more years with him as coach might seem like a long time to all parties involved. The Clippers need to entice their star point guard Chris Paul to come back, and a respected coach and aging star might be the way to do it (unless it isn't). Trading coaches still seems odd to me, but the Clippers clearly want Rivers more than the Celtics, and Rivers seems happy to make the change.
Now that I've spent a paragraph justifying this whole thing, I'll say this: something about this deal makes me think it will blow up in the Clippers' face.