Doc Rivers, Clippers Focus On Contract After Trade Blocked By League

By Jason Hall
on Jun 20, 2013 07:40 PM EDT
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Doc Rivers
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers picked up a win in his trip back to Boston. (Photo : Reuters)

The Los Angeles Clippers will attempt to negotiate with Celtics coach Doc Rivers first and complete a trade for Kevin Garnett separately. The NBA and commissioner David Stern publicly dismissed the trade as corresponding trades and signings are prevented by NBA rules.

Rivers and owner Donald Sterling have already agreed to a $7 million, five-year contract, sources told ESPN. Rather than a trade, Boston would receive compensation for allowing Rivers out of his contract, which the Celtics hope includes the Clippers' future first-round picks.

Los Angeles must offer enough to convince Boston to allow Rivers out of his current three years and $21 million contract in order to officially acquire the former NBA champion. This is a move the Clippers front office hopes will be enough to convince free agent point guard Chris Paul to stay.

Originally, the Clippers attempted to acquire Rivers and Garnett in a package deal, with the future Hall of Famer being dealt for DeAndre Jordan. However, shortly after's report of the league's questioning, Commissioner David Stern told ESPN's Colin Cowherd that the proposed deal was against league rules.

"I would say that if we know that what the parties really wanted to do is one [trade] and they're going to break it into two for the purposes of trying to avoid the restrictions that the collective bargaining agreement places on it, we know how to deal with that as well," Stern told ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd.

NBA rules prevent coaches from being "traded" and also block teams from making side trades, similar to the Garnett-Jordan trade packaged with the Rivers acquisition.

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