The Rasputin of NBA trade rumors appears to be alive once more, as executives tell Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times that the Clippers will make another play on Monday for Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Reports on two occasions, including earlier today, have indicated that talks between the two teams were at an end, but one executive said to Turner tonight that, "The door is not closed yet on getting a deal done." Still, Rivers' agent has told the Clippers he's no longer interested in coaching the team, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who adds that Chris Paul, a proponent of bringing Rivers to L.A., has been displeased with the fallout of what looked to be a failed deal.
The Clippers appear willing to be patient for a Rivers deal because Brian Shaw, Lionel Hollins and Byron Scott, their alternative coaching candidates, aren't likely to leave the market anytime soon. Two of those three haven't been offered a job by another team, according to Turner, adding that Scott hasn't even interviewed with anyone aside from the Clippers.
Boston is seeking a 2014 first-round pick in return for allowing Rivers out of his contract, which has three more seasons left on it. The Clippers are only offering a second-rounder. Clippers owner Donald Sterling and Rivers have negotiated a five-year, $35MM deal, but there's been a growing doubt around the NBA that Sterling really wants to pay that much, according to Wojnarowski.
The Celtics and Clippers have been engaged in talks involving only Rivers and draft picks since commissioner David Stern expressed this week that the league was unlikely to approve any deal that gave the appearance that Rivers was being traded in tandem with players. Such a deal would violate the collective bargaining agreement, and even though the teams appeared to be trying to structure a deal involving Kevin Garnett that would be separate from the Rivers transaction, it appeared that, too, would be vetoed. The Celtics and Clippers may attempt to circle back to a Garnett deal once the Rivers situation is resolved.
Rivers and Ainge will reportedly talk throughout the weekend in hopes of reaching a resolution on his future with the Celtics by Monday, when the team has a press conference scheduled.