Rivers heading to Clippers for first round pick, pending NBA approval
After a couple of weeks of posturing on both sides and the talks breaking down at least twice, it looks like the deal will be complete pending NBA approval.
On Sunday, sources confirmed that the Clippers have agreed to the deal and will sign Rivers for three years for $21 million.
Los Angeles will send their first round draft pick for 2015 as compensation to Boston, who agreed to release Rivers from the remaining three years he had on his contract with the club.
The same sources said that Los Angeles believes the signing of Rivers will convince All-Star point guard and free agent Chris Paul to stay with the team by signing a new contract in July.
Contrary to many reports team and league sources said that Boston has always been complicit from the beginning in assisting Rivers in making the switch to Los Angeles from Boston.
Even though at first Boston’s director of basketball Danny Ainge was irked that his coach was not so happy about returning to Boston, he realized quickly that a rebuilding period will soon take place and he could stock up on draft picks, while Rivers could get his way and head to LA.
Ainge has also attempted to secure another first round pick for Paul Pierce the veteran guard who can be bought outright on June 30 for just $5 million. Boston and Ainge have not had success yet, but will keep trying. Boston could also keep his contract through the first half of next season and try to trade him prior to the trade deadline.
It seems as though the deal that would send Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles for DeAndre Jordan has been put on hold for the time being. David Stern the NBA Commissioner objected to the trade implying that it looked as though the Rivers deal and the Garnett trade were connected.
Rivers, said sources, was upset that people had a perception that he was behind the push for him to go to Los Angeles, or that he did not want to coach again for Boston if Garnett and Pierce would not be on the team’s roster.
The source said Rivers never said or implied those things, he just was not sure if he could handle a rebuilding situation for a number of seasons.
Monday at noon, Boston has scheduled a news conference where sources have said Rivers will explain the decision he made to head west after nine seasons with Boston.
The Clippers felt they would find a way to get Rivers and contacted Boston again Sunday to revive the talks. However, they were ready to hire either Byron Scott or Brian Shaw Monday if the Rivers deal could not be worked out.