UPDATE 10:44pm: We suddenly have a number of late-night updates, courtesy of Shelburne, who reports that the Clippers have backed off their refusal to include two first round draft picks in the deal. She also reports that the deal should get done by Thursday, and the Clippers believe it will ensure that Paul re-signs with the team on July 1 rather than becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Because coaches cannot be traded, the deal must consist of two separate transactions - first a swap of Jordan for Garnett and then a transmission of the two drafts picks from L.A. to Boston as compensation for the release of Rivers from his contract. Because of this, Shelburne says that the teams will have to then convince the NBA that the two deals are not contigent on each other and that they are, in fact, separate transactions in order to meet the standards of the league's CBA.
8:28pm: A deal will not be finalized tonight, tweets Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times. The talks that resumed today will pick back up tomorrow morning.
6:53pm: Per Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne on Twitter, one source close to the trade talks expressed optimism that the teams could come to terms tonight.
5:56pm: Merely a day after both sides suggested the deal was dead, the Clippers and Celtics have re-opened trade discussions involving Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). While they appeared to be moving on with their coaching search, the Clippers reached out to the Celtics today to resume dialogue and according to Wojnarowski, Chris Paul's insistence was a big reason why. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweets that the Clips are now determined to get a deal done, which could lead to a sweetener in the deal for the Celtics.
We know that Rivers was set to meet with C's GM Danny Ainge today. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles tweets that that meeting has officially ended, curiously at about the same time we heard that talked had been reignited. Citing a source close to Rivers, Shelburne writes that Rivers does want to coach next season but would like another shot at a championship, which he knows will not happen if Boston chooses to rebuild. Washburn also tweets if the C's lose Rivers, expect Ainge to look for a younger replacement like Brian Shaw or Heat assistant David Fizdale.
Meanwhile, sources tell ESPN.com's Chris Broussard that the meeting between Clippers owner Donald Sterling and head coaching candidate Byron Scott went "very well," yesterday. Shaw, who was scheduled to meet with Sterling today, is currently at the Clippers' office, tweets Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.
Talks between the two sides reportedly ended yesterday when the Clippers refused to include a second first-round draft pick in an offer that included DeAndre Jordan and one first-rounder. Jordan's $3MM trade kicker and the potential inclusion of Courtney Lee's or Jason Terry's contract were also believed to possible points of contention. There are a ton of balls in the air for both teams in this situation. Stay tuned.
2:33pm: According to tweets from Ramona Shelburne and Arash Markazi of ESPN.com, financial concerns weren't the reason the Clippers pulled out of the deal. The team was prepared to give Rivers a big contract, but didn't want to give up two first-round picks in the move (Twitter links).
11:46am: According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Ainge has called Rivers to inform him that talks are over and that he still wants Rivers back as the Celtics' coach.
11:41am: Sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link) that the Clippers got "cold feet" over the financial commitment necessary to complete the deal. Even if Terry and Lee weren't involved, the Clips would have been paying Jordan's trade kicker and committing a $6-7MM annual salary to Rivers.
11:31am: The Clippers don't appear to be posturing when they say talks are over, according to Turner, who tweets that the deal is "dead, dead, dead." Amick and Dan Woike of the Orange County Register are also hearing the same thing (Twitter links). Celtics GM Danny Ainge confirms to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) that negotiations are over from Boston's perspective as well.
11:01am: After days of negotiating, the Clippers appear to have called off a potential deal with the Celtics that would have sent Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers to L.A., according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). Turner hears from a Clippers executive that the Celtics were asking for too much in the proposed swap.
Earlier today, we heard that while the Celtics would have liked to include Jason Terry's or Courtney Lee's contract in the deal, Boston was willing to hang on to those players if the Clippers gave up two first-round picks. However, according to Turner (via Twitter), the Clippers were unwilling to part with multiple first-rounders in addition to DeAndre Jordan. Los Angeles will move forward with its head coaching search, as owner Donald Sterling prepares to meet with Byron Scott today and Brian Shaw tomorrow, says Turner (via Twitter).
I'm a little surprised that a second first-round pick would be the sticking point for the Clippers, considering how many other concessions the Celtics appear to have made, including agreeing not to include Eric Bledsoe in the deal. The Clippers figured to be a perennial contender in the West for the next several years if they locked up Chris Paul to go along with a roster that would also include Blake Griffin, Garnett, and whatever other assets the team acquired this summer, so those future picks would likely have landed late in the first round.
It would seem to be in the best interests of both teams to get something done -- for the Clippers, it virtually guarantees Paul would re-sign with the team in July, while for the Celtics it would mean starting their rebuilding process in earnest. Both sides wanted closure one way or the other early this week, so it's possible that talks are indeed dead, as Sam Amick of USA Today is also hearing (Twitter link). But as Amick notes, until the Clippers officially hire a head coach besides Rivers, it's hard to believe both teams would truly walk away from this deal.
Even with Game Six of the NBA Finals less than 12 hours away, the hottest topic around the Association remains the trade talks between the Clippers and Celtics involving Kevin Garnett, DeAndre Jordan, and Doc Rivers. We rounded up a ton of reports on the story yesterday, but by the end of the night, the two sides had yet to reach an agreement. As the two sides continue to negotiate, we'll round up the latest rumors on the proposed deal below, with any additional updates coming throughout the day:
1:47pm: The Nuggets have officially announced the hiring of Connelly in a press release.
"We are extremely excited to have Tim join the Denver Nuggets organization," Kroenke said in a statement. "He comes from a great basketball background, possesses an incredibly strong work ethic and is a wonderful person. His passion and energy for the game of basketball are contagious and I am confident that he will be a great fit with us in Denver."
10:09am: The Nuggets have decided on their new head of basketball operations, agreeing to hire Tim Connelly to replace Masai Ujiri, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Connelly's official title in Denver will be executive VP of basketball operations.
Connelly, who had previously been working as an assistant GM for the Pelicans, was named by Wojnarowski last month as a candidate for the Denver opening. Connelly was also linked to the GM job with the Timberwolves. He'll take the reins with a franchise that has lost its GM, its top assistant GM, and its head coach in the last several weeks.
Since the Nuggets' season ended with a first-round loss to Golden State, Ujiri has been hired as the Raptors' new head of basketball operations, Pete D'Alessandro has reached an agreement to become the Kings' general manager, and George Karl was let go by Denver when the two sides couldn't agree on an extension.
One of the first tasks facing Connelly this summer will be Andre Iguodala's free agency. Iguodala decided to exercise his early termination option and hit the open market, though he and the Nuggets have mutual interest in a new deal that keeps him in Denver.
Connelly also figures to assist team president Josh Kroenke in hiring a head coach to replace Karl. Lionel Hollins is scheduled to interview with the Nuggets on Wednesday, while Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports that the club will meet with Brian Shaw on Tuesday.
Suddenly, the Clippers offseason has gone from a will he/won't he situation surrounding Chris Paul to much, much more. Will the core of the Celtics franchise pick up a one way ticket out west? Here's more on that and other notes out of L.A...
There were a lot of moving parts involved in Saturday's dominant storyline, a proposed trade that would send Celtics mainstays Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett to the Clippers. Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, with an assist from Chris Broussard, as well as Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times rounded up the relevant details late last night. Based on their reports, here's what we know right now:
The Celtics-Clippers saga continues with Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski saying that Eric Bledsoe had been a part of discussions between the two teams until Saturday morning (Twitter). The Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett mentioned earlier that Doc Rivers might feel uncomfortable returning to the Celtics after this flirtation with the Clippers, but Wojnarowski said within the Celtics it hasn't been acrimonious between team and Doc (Twitter).
ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne thinks the Clippers should dare the Celtics to cut Paul Pierce (he's owed $15.3MM if he's not waived before June 30th), and see if Kevin Garnett and Rivers will really hold to their promise to only be moved from the Celtics as a tandem (Twitter). Shelburne goes on to cite an objective league source who proposed the Clippers keep DeAndre Jordan and Bledsoe, sign Pierce after he's waived, and trade Caron Butler and a pick for Garnett (Twitter).
Shelburne also says that the Clippers have been "shaking every tree" looking for a third star to complement Blake Griffin and Chris Paul if he re-signs this summer (Twitter). According to Shelburne, the Clippers have expressed interest in Danny Granger and Arron Afflalo already as a possible third threat on their roster.
Here are some more tidbits about the Clippers and Celtics as well as other teams around the league on this rumor-filled Saturday night with a huge game 5 in the NBA Finals tomorrow.
8:40pm: Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski writes that discussions between the Clippers and Celtics have stalled and the primary reason is Bledsoe.
The Clippers are willing to part with Jordan and a first round pick for Garnett and the rights to Rivers, but have refused to include Bledsoe in the package, according to Wojnarowski's sources. Garnett will only waive the no-trade clause in his contract if Rivers joins him with the Clippers, the sources added.
Danny Ainge has requested Bledsoe and a second first-round pick for Garnett and Rivers' rights, but everyone involved believes Bledsoe's inclusion would get the deal done.
Not only that, but sources tell Wojnarowski that Rivers has informed Clippers management they shouldn't give up Bledsoe so they can acquire him as coach, saying he'd like to coach him with the Clippers.
Rivers has yet to talk with Chris Paul about his plans for the summer and would need to do so, if he were to come west. It's believed that if Garnett and Rivers are traded to the Clippers that will lead Paul to sign with them in July.
It should also be noted that all sides involved in the trade discussions want to get a deal done soon, and don't want the discussions to linger much longer.
Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald confirms that the Celtics-Clippers deal appears dead for now and the only question is whether the trade discussions have made it too awkward for coach Rivers to return to the Celtics. Rivers has three years, at $7MM per, remaining on his contract.
8:10pm: The Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett reports that sources have told him the Celtics-Clippers trade talks are "dead," and now the bigger question is whether Doc will feel awkward he expressed interest in coaching another team (Twitter links).
7:42pm: Wojnarowski says discussions between the Clippers and Celtics have "stalled," and the question becomes how soon before one side--or both--bails (Twitter).
Wojo adds that throughout the back-and-forth with the Clippers, the Celtics have insisted to Doc Rivers that if it doesn't go through, they want him back as coach (Twitter).
7:34pm: Sources tell Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski the Clippers-Celtics trade for Rivers and Garnett is "not looking good, but I wouldn't say (it's over) for sure" (Twitter).
Wojnarowski continues to reiterate the primary obstacle standing in the way of the deal: the Clippers are unwilling to part with Jordan and Bledsoe, and sources tell Yahoo Sports that Celtics GM Danny Ainge wants Bledsoe. (Twitter).
Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com says that the Clippers were looking for a long-term asset for Bledsoe (Twitter).
6:34pm: After flirting with the possibility of seizing Celtics coach, Doc Rivers, as well as Kevin Garnett, in a deal we've been following all day, it seems the Clippers will be moving on and will offer their head coaching position to either Brian Shaw or Lionel Hollins some time this week, according to the Los Angeles Times' Brad Turner (Twitter).
Rivers has been informed the Clippers won't accept the Celtics' offer, and he's prepared to stay with the Celtics moving forward (Twitter). Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com adds that the Clippers were very resistant to parting with DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe in the effort to acquire Rivers and Garnett since Garnett is only under contract for two more years and the younger Bledsoe is more valuable (Twitter).
Shelburne adds that the Clippers felt strong about the Hollins and Shaw coaching options and weren't ready to "mortgage the farm" for Doc (Twitter).
Manu Ginobili said before the Finals that he would consider retirement after the series, and he reiterated that sentiment today in speaking to reporters, including Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. "There's a small chance," Ginobili said. "It's not that I'm really considering, but I can never say 'no' for sure, because I sometimes consider it." If the soon-to-be free agent returns next season, it seems overwhelmingly likely he'll do so with the Spurs, notes Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com. Here's more from a busy Saturday around the Western Conference:
On the heels of a pair of unsurprising option decisions - Brandon Rush and Marvin Williams will return to the Warriors and Jazz, respectively - we received word that Andre Iguodala will opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent. Iguodala's decision isn't a huge surprise either, but it certainly makes this year's class of free agents even more interesting.
In addition to the Nuggets, Wojnarowski listed six other teams expected to pursue Iguodala, while Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group tweets that the Warriors are interested in well. Golden State would have a much tougher path to landing Iggy than teams with cap space, but a sign-and-trade is within the realm of possibility.
Here are a few more Friday odds and ends from around the NBA: