Last night, we were told the Celtics and Clippers had reached another impasse in negotiations. Now, we know why. According to the latest report from Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo! Sports the Celtics continue to give ground in the trade negotiations.
After pushing for the Clippers to take back long-term contracts, the Celtics relented and have shown willingness to complete the deal for DeAndre Jordan and two first-round draft picks, sources said. The Clippers are willing to give the Celtics Jordan and one draft pick, but were resisting a second future pick, sources said.
The two teams are planning to talk again on Tuesday morning, and the fragile negotiations could climax over the draft pick compensation, sources said.
If the Clippers become the championship contenders that they expected this trade will make them, the additional draft pick would likely be near the end of the first round.
Boston had to move Courtney Lee (three years, $16.2 million left on his deal) or Jason Terry (two years, $10.6 million), for the expiring contracts of Caron Butler ($8 million) or Willie Green ($1.4 million), but the Clippers refused to take on the additional salary in any combination and the Celtics eventually moved back to the Jordan and two draft pick offer on Monday.
So let’s do a quick summation on these negotiations. At first, Ainge was looking for Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan, draft picks, and dumping a contract. Clippers passed on that. Then, he tried again, removing Bledsoe from the deal. Clippers didn’t go for that either. Now we’re down to Jordan and late 1st round picks as the only potential returns from a trade of the team’s head coach and beloved star?
I believe we covered this kind of situation quite candidly yesterday in our trade evaluations column.
CELTICS GET DESPERATE
Garnett, Doc for Jordan and 1st round picks.
Analysis: The ultimate slap in the face for Celtics fans. Celtics gain no financial flexibility, take back a “questionable” asset in Jordan and a couple late first round picks and are also stuck with a bunch long-term mid-level deals that Ainge will be looking to dump in future moves.
Bottom line here, I worry that Ainge has painted himself into a corner here with no leverage. He’s decided he’s moving on from Paul Pierce without having a trade offer in hand for him. With Pierce gone, KG wants out to a location of his choice, or he retires. Without PP and KG, Doc doesn’t see the appeal of coming back. It’s an ugly situation.
Ideally, Ainge would not be fully set on walking away from these guys. He’d have the option of walking away from a subpar offer like this and actually be willing to run it back, with the possibility of trading KG/Pierce down the line this season for some value. He needed to be willing to do this to have a fair trade negotiation with the Clippers, but they’ve appeared to call his bluff on this.
We’re still awaiting the final verdict right now. Something has to give today. Talks could fall apart, Celtics could settle for a subpar offer, or Clippers could up their offer at the last minute. Whatever scenario arises, we’ll have full coverage here at CelticsHub.
You can also check out additional analysis of the proceeding in the CelticsHub podcast, where Rich Keefe and I broke down the negotiations thus far.