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Are The Clippers Backing Out?



Only hours ago it was one of the strangest and most significant trade proposals the NBA’s seen in quite some time. Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett (Boston’s mind, body, and soul) would be transplanted to Los Angeles in return for a suddenly much brighter Celtics future. How quick things change in Twitter’s age of NBA rumors.

Let’s start by briefly recapping what we (think we) know. Doc Rivers does not want to coach a team that’s ceiling does not include possibly holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy come June. If steering a Los Angeles Clippers team with old friend Kevin Garnett, Blake Griffin, and Chris Paul all doing their part, Rivers would most likely find himself coaching a legitimate championship contender.

For Boston to change the very identity that’s made them one of the NBA’s most competitive teams these last six years, a seriously beneficial haul would have to come in return. If making a move with the Clippers, that haul would look something like Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan, two first round draft picks (preferably unprotected), and the break of tacking on Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, or Brandon Bass—and a long-term/not good contract.

Anything less isn’t the worst thing in the world (if Bledsoe isn’t included it probably would be the worst thing in the world) but with just enough leverage on his side, Danny Ainge should rightfully be trying to squeeze as much from the Clippers as he can.

This trade would be a BIG deal, not just for the Celtics and their long-term future, but the entire Western Conference, and possibly even more. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. But don’t think talks are entirely over just yet. Too much is at stake for both sides, and if all reports to date have been remotely true, the conversation has gone too far for either side to turn back now.


  • High Rollers

    Well, at least Eric Bledsoe knows he's wanted. I think I'm going to start calling him Tank.

  • Mark

    Clippers think Ainge will budge. He won't and the deal will get done. Hope it blows up in Docs face in La La Land.

  • DreMo

    Do NOT BUDGE DA!! Lob City has EVERYTHING to lose. That Laker – Clippersl trade “report” is absolute posturing to reassure CP3 on the other side while short changing DA. They’re not slick. DeAndre for KG AND CLee (I’m aware of why he’s included, but just for DJ is a WASTE) .. No way. Call their bluff, let them hire Hollins or Shaw (I’d bet theyd hire Shaw as he’s got good relationships with players if they go that far).

    At worst, we have a fully healthy unit, and bring back the troops and see what happens with everyone at good health and bringing in a decent 5 somehow.

    • Mark

      Lee would be a salary dump and a needed one at that. I would like them to also dump Terry as he is useless in a full rebuild and it's a ton of long term money off the books.

      • check12check

        For that matter, I'd rather see them dump Terry. I mean, I like him, but i think Lee has way more upside. He was pretty dang bad last year, but I know the potential for a good game is there. I like he and bradley defending together, even though it does leave us without a real point and lacking shooting (unless Lee can start hitting 3s again).

        • MicCheck123

          I'd bet he's been put in and LAC probably has a choice of JET or CLee and CLee being the obvious choice as he's younger, can defend and looking at JET – he & Jamal Crawford (interestingly enough both are from Seattle) are too similar – I would say no too and take CLee with the roster makeup and need for a wing defender.

  • DreMo

    I stated above .. I knew why (Lee being dumped) my point (again) is that giving a salary dump with KG (still effective) in exchange for DJ – who still needs to develop offensively, but there is upside- (as the only player coming over) is ridiculous.

  • check12check

    I'm not the biggest fan of DJ, but I think his game will mesh nicely with rondo. If he can become a force on D and get some damn boards, he could still make a nice impact on the Cs. I do think this trade would improve the Cs.

    It would just be hard to see KG go, but I'm pretty sure KG and boston will always have love for each other. This isn't going to turn into a Ray thing

    • DreMo

      Agreed. This would quickly turn into an uptempo team, should DA net Bledsoe. DeAndre, Jeff Green, Eric Bledsoe, with RR would be very entertaining. That is not to say DA would not take one of the two #1's and try packaging it to finagle Josh Smith, or Paul Milsap to add to the mix.

  • DreMo

    I would rather stand pat, than do anything like give up a top tier coach (for two #1's is great), and trade one, one throw in as a salary dump, and all that comes back is one good and freakishly athletic, 5, with glaring offensive holes.

    Getting Bledsoe as apart of the deal would be a great net for DA. Lob City sees Bledsoe as a chip to trade likely as they won't be able to pay him what another team would after this season, and Bledsoe (should DA keep him) could serve as RR insurance in using this season as a trial run .. then dumping RR .. keeping and paying Bledsoe (Restricted) .. or keeping RR and trading Bledsoe at the deadline (if kept that long, I'd imagine he being a candidate to be flipped again (w/Bass??) for Milsap, Utah wanted him as well).

  • hax

    Booooo, make it happen Danny!

  • Jas

    Boston is asking for way too much and if they dont get the deal done its a total loss for them. Garnett might not even come back next year and if he does, it's certainly for one year only. After watching an old Celtics team get dismantled by a soso Knicks team, do you really think Rondo would be the difference between a first round loss and winning the entire thing to a championship? No. The window is fully closed. If you kept the band together at this point, it would be to make another first or second round exit and that's it. And then the Celtics would have nothing in return for KG and PP. This is the only trade that gets them anything of real value. Deandre is an athletic Center who can finish rondo lobs. He may get better. He may not. But athletic young centers don't come by very often. I would do the deal, even without Bledsoe. Just swallow your pride or risk swallowing another 20 year period of championship drought.

    • dasein

      Way to negotiate. A packet of lollies is worth more than nothing. I'm terrified of getting nothing so let's just give it all up for that.

      And I woudn't say letting PP and KG retire in green is worth nothing. As a fan, that's actually worth quite a bit to me. I'd rather bring the boys back for another year than take a bad trade.

      For me, no Bledsloe = no deal. Jordan/minor cap relief/crappy picks is not enough for a top coach and a player that makes the type of impact that KG does. I mean with Doc and KG gone, who are we expecting to get through to Jordan anyway? Rondo? Jet? New Coach X?

      • jpbl1976

        I agree. The Celtics would be getting the short end of the stick here. This is not the "suddenly brighter future" that Michael Pina is making this out to be.

        This isn't even about being sentimental: how do you justify trading away one of the better coaches in the league, one of its best defenders even at his age and a solid role player (Lee) for DeAndre Jordan, Bledsoe and picks. If I were Danny, I'd go for Blake Griffin or tell the Clips to take a hike.

        Listen, if DeAndre doesn't work out, it'll be like we got nothing for KG anyway and I've seen Bledsoe play enough to know that we shouldn't be entertaining thoughts of trading Rondo away just yet. Bledsoe isn't suddenly going to turn into James Harden. In all likelihood, he's going to turn into a moderately better version of Nate Robinson and I'm not sure I'd like that.

  • James Patrick

    Brad Turner is talking from his butt, sources.

    • MicCheck123

      Total posturing. If it was not – then LAC .. hire Hollins (who's supposedly your front runner) as he's had TWO interviews and had "flight trouble" getting to Denver for Saturday's interviw, now scheduled for Wednesday – Hollins could even have his eye on Boston should the LAC deal with DA go down. Alot of moving parts – things could still happen.

  • Cart

    Lets put aside the emotional attachment with KG, Pierce, and Doc.. what do we have? We have a coach who clearly is not down for an overhaul on the roster and willing to be the foundation to rebuild. We have two future hall-of-famers who are well past their prime, and we have an all star point guard who has a history of coaching clashes, but has built solid working relationship with his current head coach. Oh and by the way, we are over the salary cap.

    It will hurt, but for the good of the franchise, we need to take what we can get for these guys right now to build for the future. Get rid of the salary costs, get some solid draft picks for 2014 (which is supposed to be rather deep) and perhaps snag up a solid FA in 2014 when we have tons of cap room, a young and tough core, and a solid coach we can get this year.

    We can't mortgage the future of the franchise on nostalgia and wishful thinking. We all love what KG, PP, and Rivers have done, but for the good of the future, its time to part ways and get the best value we can WHILE we can!

  • jpbl1976

    I realize the sting of losing in the first round makes it easy to want to rebuild but this is a ridiculous trade for the Celtics:

    1. Doc is under contract. Whatever change in thinking he's had over the past few months, he has to honor it. His people are leaking all the right spin because whatever happens, he's going to lose more than a few fans in Boston. We can justify it all we want — the same way that all the so-called level-headed people justified Ray's leaving — but the truth is Doc is cutting rope on what he perceives to be a sinking ship here.

    Think about it: Doc's doing this to a ball-club that made him among the highest-paid coaches in sports even though his own coaching was hit-and-miss last year. In hindsight, he should've just announced his intentions back in early 2011 so we could have held onto Thibbs. I have lost quite a bit of respect for Doc because of the way he's held the Celtics hostage here. He's basically used the Celtics as leverage to up his market value.

    2. KG > Jordan + Bledsoe. There is no way that replacing KG with DeAndre Jordan and/or Bledsoe is a good trade. DeAndre is not suddenly going to turn into Robert Parish and Bledsoe is overrated — even Simmons who watches all the Clippers games and was a once-upon a time Bledsoe homer — says so now. I've watched quite a few Clippers games myself and this is a guy who looks like Russell Westbrook one night and Norris Cole the next. I would like to see how the guys who excoriated Jeff Green for his consistency in the early part of the season react once Bledsoe goes for 18 and 8 one game and 6 points and 4 turnovers the next.

    Basically, why would you trade a 15-10 guy per 36 minutes — who showed he still has a couple of good years left in the first round of the playoffs — for a guy who entered the league as a project and whose work ethic on the defensive end is suspect and an undersized 2-guard? If Jordan turns out to be a bust (more probable than not) then we just handed away one of best Celtics ever (KG) to pay a guy $22+ million who could turn out to be a journeyman if he doesn't work out in Boston. Jordan does NOT have DeMarcus' Cousins' potential. He is closer to the clueless JaVale McGee. Anyone who think this is a good trade is deluding themselves. I would rather have 2 years of old KG than 2 years of inconsistent, maddening DeAndre Jordan, which is the way I believe this will play out.

    3. Picks bound to be middling. The picks, unless the Clippers suddenly revert to mean, are going to be late first rounders. I don't know about you guys but I don't want Danny being given the chance to draft another Fab Melo with the 23rd pick of the 2015 draft.

    The ONLY way any of the above makes sense is if this is what happens: Danny is stockpiling assets. He picks up Pierce's option to appease Celtics fans, rests Rondo for a year a la Derrick Rose (which will probably entail a straitjacket since Rondo isn't going to go for that, based on how tough and competitive he is), hires Vinny del Negro as canon fodder and lets a weak Celtics team with a starting 5 of Pierce, Bledsoe, Average, DeAndre and Green TANK next season on the outside chance of landing Andrew Wiggins.

    If that works out, then it's all well and good but I've about had it with Danny after all this stuff. I wonder: if all that happens but the C's fail to land Wiggins, will the current Celtics ownership group get on its knees and ask Larry Bird to come back and to rebuild the franchise? He's done so much more for the Pacers with less.

    Finally, there are 21 million reasons why Doc should have no problem coming back next season and the two after that.

    I realize some of you WANT the rebuilding to start already — and to some extent, I'd welcome it too — but I think Ainge can do far better than a 2-year DeAndre rental, Bledsoe and a bunch of middling picks for KG, Doc and Terry/Lee.

    • swissflix

      totally agree with you, especially on the Parish – Jordan comparison.
      Deandre Jordan is tall and athletic, but that is about it. I do not expect him to evolve much as a basketballplayer. The guy does not even have decent rebounding numbers. Even if we get Bledsoe, we still give up quite a lot….and then do what with his 2 year contract? I am sure some mediocre team in Cleveland or Milwaukee is gonna offer Jordan a hugely overblown contract.

  • tbunny

    My impression is that Ainge has all that leverage. Why should he cave? He has nothing to lose.

  • hax

    wtf is brad turner? espn isn't reporting this story.
    Can't believe how greedy the Clippers are being.
    An overrated bench player who didn't even average 10 ppg+ while his bench teamate averaged 15+
    Some draft picks that mean nothing compared to rings.
    Jordan for the BIG TICKET
    Paul-Billups-Pierce-Griffin-Garnett is so ridiculous. If the Lakers middle finger their bledsoe-griffin for dwight deal, Clippers need to take this deal, or they deserve to become a lottery team for another decade.

  • DreMo

    I agree with the above regarding Bledsoe. I live in Long Beach, so I see ever Clipper game, watch Celtic regional casts online.

    EB is an athletic phenom. Extremely long arms (his recovery after being beaten will excite you, I’ve seen him recover after being beaten off the dribble and pin shots to the glass), and truth be told DA would either give him a test drive to see if he’s worth offering the R Max (58m) and if RR is healthy and returns to form, because RR Will command an UR max in a few should he return to form like expected.

    That I believe is the expectation (RR), so EB may in fact be a sweetener on the other side to nab Josh Smith or Paul Milsap with some of the unwanted deals at the end of the bench and a player like Brandon Bass.

  • DreMo

    DeAndre, a project, and having a few established front line players like a healthy Sully and Paul Milsap who can rebound with the best in the NBA if healthy, expected, then DeAndre can develop over the next two seasons.

    He’s comparable to JaVale McGee, yes, but his head mis much different. Still raw, yet there was clear development in his back to the basket game, which is welcome to see. The right HC, and his development can continue .. having RR may help, yet who knows because he and Blake have grown incessantly tired of CP3′s constant chirping at them on the floor, which is pretty public info, so I’m curious as to how an ever agitated RR, trained by KG, would respond to DeAndre.

    • hax

      8 rpg. that's like the whole celtics team average last year.

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