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Clause In Rivers’ Deal Could Hinder Clips’ Pursuit

An unusually strong non-compete clause in Doc Rivers' contract with the Celtics could prove a further stumbling block should Rivers want to coach the Clippers or any other team next season, reports Ken Berger of The clause states that Rivers may not coach a team other than the Celtics for the duration of the deal, which runs through 2016. That may not completely scuttle any plans he had of moving on to the Clippers or elsewhere, Berger writes, but it could give Celtics GM Danny Ainge additional leverage to extract a heavy price from another team in return for allowing him to coach there.

Most NBA coaching contracts include language outlining what were to happen if the coach left for another team while under contract, but in the Celtics' pact with Rivers, the language is part of a separate clause. The net result could be more psychological than legal, according to Berger, though it appears Ainge is already setting a high price for the Clippers.

Rivers, who may not be willing to coach a rebuilding team in Boston, has been on the Clippers' radar for a while, and Berger hears the team's executives met several weeks ago to discuss their plan of action should Rivers become available. For now, the Clippers are focused on Lionel Hollins, with whom the team just finished a two-day interview, as well as Byron Scott and Brian Shaw.

The Celtics are allowed to ask for draft picks and cash in return for Rivers, but any deal involving players currently on either team's roster would have to be worked out as a separate transaction. Ultimately, the idea of Rivers coaching the Clippers next season appears "far-fetched," according to execs who spoke to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. 

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