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Agreement-in-Principle: Rivers Headed To Clippers

We have a deal.

It lacks only the NBA’s stamp of approval, one that will prove hard to deny now that the Celtics and Clippers have decoupled the Kevin GarnettDeAndre Jordan deal from compensation for Doc Rivers.

Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the Celtics will receive an unprotected 2015 first round pick for Rivers, who will sign a 3-year/$21 million contract with L.A. Woj:

Rivers had gone into the weekend planning to decide his future with the Celtics, and sources said he had been leaning strongly toward returning next season to fulfill the three years and $21 million left on his contract. With the Celtics moving into a rebuilding phase, several sources told Yahoo! Sports that Boston management preferred draft-pick compensation over paying for an elite coach.

This is a solid if unspectacular deal for the Celtics. Ideally, they would have landed a pick in the 2014 draft, but the Clippers’ pick in that draft will probably land in the 20s, where a team is lucky to land a rotation player. However, two years down the road, it’s possible, especially given Chris Paul’s previous health problems, the pick could be much more valuable for both the player it might return and the flexibility it will afford Danny Ainge. The lack of protection on the pick is rare in the modern NBA, even if it probably won’t come into play. And Ainge should be lauded for turning his coach into a movable asset.

This is the first of a number of moves we should expect this offseason, as the Celtics begin a multi-year retool in search of banner #18.

We should expect Doc’s replacement to be far cheaper, in line with the reasonable notion that it’s not worth paying any coach huge money to finish, as the Celtics are destined, middle-of-the-pack or lower. We’ll get into possible coaching candidates this coming week, with Brian Shaw one key name to keep in mind.

In the meantime, focus will turn to Garnett. It will be tricky to convince the NBA that moving him to the Clippers is unrelated to the previous deal involving both he and Doc, but that might be where he lands, after some permutation of the original deal or period of time. There’s some belief he could return to Boston next season but without Rivers, that seems unlikely. There will be a market for Garnett amongst teams eyeing a title run in 2014 if the C’s can’t find a way to get him to Los Angeles. With no prospect of a championship in Boston, and Rivers, and likely Pierce, gone, KG could be more willing to waive his no-trade clause.

  • Paceman

    The first domino falls.
    I’d still be happy to see kg and pierce go around one more year and then retire together as celtics (and thus remove around $27 million off the books as well) and have the rebuild start in ernest then. Hopefully the new coach can work to the strengths of terry, lee and bass so their trade value goes up. Keep rondo, green and sully as starters, add high quality scoring shooting guard and max level two way big via trade or FA. Bradley, TWill, shav and picks as bench, plus find a good value 6th man in the market. Proven vets to fill out roster. Ready to contend again!

  • Vermont Celts Fan

    Don't take back DeAndre Jordan in the deal. Need to clear money. Picks and Cap space is the quickest way to rebuild. If they can get 1st rounders for Paul and KG you need to move them now. See what people are willing to give for Rondo too.

  • ghoulbuns

    If KG and Pierce leave…i hope you Bostonians like mediocrity. Interesting that Lebron James claims Paul Pierce has been his greatest rival, yet this franchise seems to think hes disposable. F#ck your Celtic Pride and your “bleeding green”. What a crock.

    • Vincent

      We were mediocre last year, and we'd be mediocre with PP and KG. I'd rather compete for a title in 2015 than finish .500 next year in some fairy tale farewell tour. Grow up, its a business.

      • GymRat

        The draft pick doesn't even kick in until 2015. Where is this championship caliber team coming from…?

        DeAndre Jordan?

        Relevance won't happen till 2017 at the earliest unless Ainge makes another franchise changing trade like he did for 2008. As in never gonna happen.

    • Olskool1972

      They'll be in the same place Miami was before the league let the Heat tamper before free agency in 2010 to get James and Bosh. Things change quick but what will stay the same is your stupidity. Now go get ready for summer school kid.

  • 2cents

    I don't get it I really don't. There are two main camps out there. One that says blow it up and the other that says one more go round. I'm in the later, but with this it's apparent that the fuse has been lit. I suspected Ainge would have to make a decision on Pierece, but I didn't see Doc leaving. Pierce's deal, KG's deal, and Doc's deal all made by Ainge and ownership, and now seemably they want to wipe them all from the books. wtf? at this point I don't think anyone on the team is safe from tha fallout. i don't get it I really don't.

    • Mark

      What don't you get? The team as constructed with Doc was a second round exit at best. Rondo might not be back until the first of the year and KG and Pierce are literally out of gas unable to carry the burden required because this team lacks that superstar/franchise player that carries teams. That isn't a knock on Pierce/KG at all rather an acknowledgment of father time reducing them to the 3rd or 4th options they should be. They aren't #1 or #2 save for a few games here and there.

      Danny put off the rebuild long enough.

      OT: Remember this name for the '15 draft. Jahlil Okafor. Seen him play in high school and he's the next great PF. Great fundamentals that are rare in this age of AAU.

      • 2cents

        I remember KG was the best player for the C's in the Knicks series, and everytime he went to the bench the C's defense sucked. Without Rondo Pierce and KG carried their team and gave everything they could to make sure they at least made the playoffs. I agree Pierce and KG are not and should not be #1 and #2, but I don't agree with just dumpling them for draft picks when it was Ainge and ownership that gave them the deals they thought and I agree they deserved.

        Mediocrity or not I had hoped to see the core kept together for at least one more year, give all three a chance to retire as Celtics, and work the middle of the roster over for an impact big man to back up and help take the load off KG, but that's just my opinion and it ain't worth 2cents.

  • ghoulbuns

    Wow Vermont you would trade Rondo too? You have no clue how hard franchise players are to come by do you…and yet youd rather give up 3 of them for Deandre Jordan and “whatever you can get”? You are a fool, sir, and clearly not a Celtica fan.

    • hax

      Thank You. Rondo is a triple double waiting to happen, and his jump shot improved significantly before his acl tear.

      • janos

        rondos best nba no doubts my think


      Sorry to burst your bubble, but Rondo is not a franchise player. Are you honestly going to sit there and tell me Rondo is worth a max contract? Are you telling me he can carry a team night and night out? He hasn't done it so far, and I don't see him changing from A to Z after an ACL injury. If he was the best PG/amazing franchise player, why is it no team even made a play for him during the trade talks when he was on the table? The Green Kool-Aid is super strong these days.

  • Mark

    I might be killed for saying this but I hope the door whacks Doc on the ass as he leaves. He might be a great players coach and has his moments drawing up plays out of timeouts but he's like a stubborn mule when it comes to change. When history remembers the Doc years, especially after getting KG, it'll be the championship 1st and that damned Pierce ISO to end games as 1A.

    What's going to hard to replace is what Doc, Pop and Tibs do best and that is their ability to convince players they want to run through walls. There are none better than those three at motivation.

    Props to Danny for at least getting a pick. Here's to the Clips of '14-'15 crashing and burning so the pick is at least top 5. Since reports are the NBA won't approve a KG to Clips trade even months down the line because they will still view the deals as linked I can't imagine what'll happen next. If Doc can't get KG I suspect the Clippers will have the same amount of success as they did this season. Good grief I'm all over the place.

    At least this part is over and the much needed post Doc Celtics can begin.


      Stern's curse is a blessing in disguise. I want the world to see the mediocrity of Doc as a coach (you give him more credit than he deserves). If they get no new changes in terms of players, they won't be much better than before, unless Blake returns with post-moves or Jordan learns to shoot. Like you said, the worse they do, the better for us! If KG was there, it would be hard for me to hope for that, but if it is just Doc, I would be more than obliged to do it. He treated the Boston fans like crap and left us in the dark for so many weeks without even a word. How disrespectful.

  • Morpheus

    It has begun. The rebuild is in process.

    I am going to miss Doc, KG and Pierce, terribly. Doc is the first domino, Pierce and KG will be gone soon. It's going to be a tough week or so for me to accept this.

    Thankyou Doc for all you have done here in Boston. Love you.

    • janos

      whers is go garnets /; pierce? is for sure go or not

      • check12check

        nothing has been decided on them yet janos. I hope we get one more season of watching these guys in green. the only way I would be happy with moving them is if they want to be somewhere else where they have a better chance at a title

  • Sam

    Allow me to take a leaf from Mike D’Antoni’s playbook (I know, right?) and say that I’d like to see Doc coach a contender without KG here to carry the message and walk the walk.

    I’ll never forget these last seasons though, and I hope he won’t forget to speak out soon against the “Rondo is a cancer” fad that started with Ray’s departure and has picked up steam again as of late.

    • Mark

      Per Rondo: Shame on the media, especially Boston sites, for running with that "incident" between he and Doc with zero context. That screams of someone in the Clippers or Doc camp putting it out.

  • James Patrick

    And we get screwed again. Maybe Pitino will come back and coach. lol

    • janos

      is ok james patrick new coaches come, go player still best us

      • james patrick

        hahaha thanks Janos!

  • Hans_Gruber

    Thank god I'm a Clippers fan too or I'd be a lot angrier about this.Thanks for letting our coach go for nothing, Danny. Bring that title home with the Clips, Doc. It's gonna be a depressing next decade in Boston.

    • check12check

      upvote just for the user name

  • Jim

    I am glad the soap opera is over. I will root for Doc in LA and wish him the best. Danny Ainge did well securing a first round draft pick for Doc's services. Let s hope the rebuilding goes smoothly. Danny time to earn your money.

  • janos

    ryan ; what this is mean rondos is garnetstay or go to?

    • someguyinsac

      Hi Grampa Janos, that's the next $64,000 question and then the one about Pierce follows after that one's answered.

      • janos

        hi sac yes is now grampa janos !!!

        thank you reply me this going be interest time nba celtics was kings stay there or go new place i am not remembers

  • check12check

    First, let me say that even though I am not the biggest fan of Doc, he will be missed in boston. The man did a whole lot for our organization, and he deserves a whole lot of thanks for what he did. Thank you Doc for taking us through a rebuild, for coaching our team to two NBA finals and a championship, and thank you for years of service.

    now that I've taken care of that, I have no real qualms with this deal. yes, one future draft pick is not a whole lot of compensation for Doc, but A. he's not really a great coach and B. his value artificially falls due to the fact that there are many good coaches looking for a job right now. hopefully danny goes out and gets a good one.

    Yes, the rebuild has begun. This next season is going to be quite an enigma. If our new coach does the right things and gets more out of bradly, bass, terry, Lee and others while resting KG and PP (not ready to say they will be elsewhere next season) maybe we look a lot better than expected. Of course, maybe the aforementioned cast continues to play at a level much lower than their potential. what if PP or KG get injured and the wheels fall off? what if Rondo comes back and is just not the same player he was before he got hurt (not a big rondo fan, but I won't get into that now)? will the celtics somehow find gold with their pick in this years draft? how much will sully be able to make an impact next year? how will the C's address the need for a big so KG can rest? will i finally be free from the torment of watching PP isos? Is Jeff Green about to blossom into a (super)star? and of course the biggest and most palpable question, is trader danny going to pull the trigger on deals for PP and KG?

    I really hope he doesn't. I'm afraid our off-season is about to become crazy danny's going out of business sale where quality players can be yours for low low prices, but I feel that move would be foolish. short of Lil' bow-wow finding a pair of MJ's sneakers and then signing with the celtics where he dominates the league (yes, i just referenced like mike.),this team has no real shot at a championship next year; however, I am OK with that. You can't win one every year. can't we have a great farewell tour for two of the greatest celtics of all time next season? doesn't make sense to be patient enough to last one season and then have a ton of money come off the books? heck, we could even resign Pierce for one more year if he wants to play, and we can get a bargain. I think this makes the most sense for our organization. it won't anger fans, it shows that we are a loyal club, and I think we all want to see our elder statesmen retire celtics.

    as far as the quite monstrous list of questions i expressed is concerned, I expect some results to be exciting for the Cs while others go badly. hope you guys are ready for this ride….

  • Bobby

    Screw it!!! Go after phil jackson and bring back rondo kg pierce and green. Thats it!!

    • Daniel

      I agree, bring a good Pop or Thibs type coach that doesn't care about stroking egos and prefers team basketball over ISO's.

      Give this team one more run with rondo and a legit backup point guard. I don't think this team is bad, it has all the right pieces, just needs a good conductor to orchestrate it!

      I don't know if its a title team, but it'll make it to ECF.

  • someguyinsac

    Hey! What's up with "comment must be approved" stuff, (not for lack of a better word mind you), I don't believe I've made any inappropriate comments here before? If I have, a slap on the wrist would make me fly right again.

    • Morpheus

      I think it's just a glitch, sac. Happens to me often.

      • someguyinsac

        Thanks Morpheus. At my local news website, I get the slap on the wrist warning email that I've stepped over the line, before they do that to me. 😉

  • dasein

    The first step in Tankapoloza 2013-14 has been taken. Don't worry Celtics fans, we've got lottery balls coming!

  • Daniel

    BIRD for GM!!! Think about it he was the one that built the Pacers and stole David West from the C's!!

    He's a humble genius at seeing talent!

    • jpbl1976

      I have been saying this for a while now. We need to get rid of Ainge. Bird has a better track-record of building teams from scratch. Danny basically got lucky in 2007 because Seattle and Minny were prepared to move on from their stars. He won't get lucky a second time. We need someone who can harness existing talent and spot future talent.

      Bird has been successful at every level of basketball and I believe that he'd welcome the challenge of building the Celtics back up.

      Also, I think Shaw would make a good replacement for Doc.

  • GymRat

    Lauding Danny for getting a first round pick to release Doc is just insane. It's likely to be a very late pic and it doesn't even kick in until 2015. How does that help in a blow-it-up and rebuild now situation?

    The only silver lining I could see is the timing of the pic coincides with the current end of KG's contract and post PP, so you can wonder if he's hoping to keep it together with duct tape and a prayer till then and bring in somebody KG and PP would play for. But that's more a fantasy (at least mine) than a reality as Doc wouldn't be itching to go to LA if KG and PP were staying.

    So Danny's rebuild now plan is off to a genius start. Now on to giving KG away for an overpaid role player, and who knows what he's ready to ship PP away for.

    There's no painting this as a win. I'll just have to get used to watching first round exits and cheering again for "anybody but the Heat".

    • jpbl1976

      I heard about one trade where P-Dub goes to Cleveland and the Celtics get back picks plus a trade exception that can be used in a sign-and-trade for Rondo's buddy J-Smoove.

      How ironic would that be if it happened. There are parallels to how the earlier Boston Big Three era ended. Man, Ray Allen is laughing at Danny while he's partying in Miami.

    • Danny

      Most overrated GM in basketball

  • DreMo

    JB Bickerstaff. Young. Cheap. Offensive minded. He’d likely be surrounded by vet assts like his father, who’s out of work at the moment.

  • DreMo

    Doc is a good HC … He simply wore out rotation players too hard .. esp options 1-3, or anyone he liked in particular .. & never developed youth well .. forced to play Sully out of necessity .. though he probably didn’t want to.

    Get a young guy who can develop and get through to guys like RR. In an offensive system like JB Bickerstaff’s, JG & Sully would really take off …

  • swissflix

    Goodbye Doc. Thank you for all the memories. Thanks to you and the big three, the Celtics fans finally had something to cheer about after all these bad years.

    What i really worry about is the culture of the franchise. KG, Doc and all these great players brought serious professionalism to the club. What happens with that when they are all gone? Just look at all the assistant coaches working somewhere else now.

    I would hate to see a Celtics team without that Celticpride.

    • jpbl1976

      Well, we still have KG and it looks like he won't be going to Clipperland (at least not while D. Stern is in charge).

      I'm fine with rebuilding but I hope we do it with class and not turn into the Bobcats.

      • swissflix

        exactly. i wonder what the chances of KG returning without Doc are.
        At least there won't be ML Carr or Rick Pitino anymore. Since we already had them 😛

  • Danny

    Well this is great. Looking forward to an awesome rebuild watching the team try to lose as many games as possible while we dismantle a once great team. All those blow it up guys your finally getting your wish. There is no other pro sport where people think sucking now is a good way to get better in the future. And heres a little hint, it doesn't. Tanking for draft picks doesn't work, it never works, it never will, teams that suck always suck. Below is a list of number 1 picks since 1985. I'd like you all to count how many of them went on to win championships with the team they were drafted by. I count two who both happen to have been drafted by the same team. Who coincidentally happens to be the only the team to have won a championship is said time frame (Chicago Bulls are the exception who picked first in 1999 after Jordan's retirement and haven't won since). The NBA is not built through the draft or tanking. I don't care how good Andrew Wiggins might be. Free agency and smart trades are the only way. Veterans win championships. Upside and potential are meaningless words.

  • Danny

    2012 Anthony Davis New Orleans Hornets
    2011 Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavaliers
    2010 John Wall Washington Wizards
    2009 Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers
    2008 Derrick Rose Chicago Bulls
    2007 Greg Oden Portland Trail Blazers
    2006 Andrea Bargnani Toronto Raptors
    2005 Andrew Bogut Milwaukee Bucks
    2004 Dwight Howard Orlando Magic
    2003 LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers
    2002 Yao Ming Houston Rockets
    2001 Kwame Brown Washington Wizards
    2000 Kenyon Martin New Jersey Nets
    1999 Elton Brand Chicago Bulls
    1998 Michael Olowokandi Los Angeles Clippers
    1997 Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs
    1996 Allen Iverson Philadelphia 76ers
    1995 Joe Smith Golden State Warriors
    1994 Glenn Robinson Milwaukee Bucks
    1993 Chris Webber Orlando Magic
    1992 Shaquille O'Neal Orlando Magic
    1991 Larry Johnson Charlotte Hornets
    1990 Derrick Coleman New Jersey Nets
    1989 Pervis Ellison Sacramento Kings
    1988 Danny Manning Los Angeles Clippers
    1987 David Robinson San Antonio Spurs
    1986 Brad Daugherty Cleveland Cavaliers
    1985 Patrick Ewing New York Knicks