While replacing Vinny Del Negro with Doc Rivers on the bench may be worth a first-round draft pick on its own, the Clippers' decision to send the Celtics an unprotected 2015 pick was also closely tied to Chris Paul's future in Los Angeles. As Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld writes in today's NBA AM piece, the Clippers hiring Rivers virtually cements Paul re-signing long-term with the club when free agency begins next month.
The NBA still has to approve the Rivers transaction, but that shouldn't be a problem now that Kevin Garnett and other players aren't involved in the deal, so Kyler takes a look at the next steps for both the Celtics and Clippers once Doc officially changes addresses:
- The Cavaliers have expressed "serious interest" in acquiring Paul Pierce, but according to Kyler, they're offering a pair of early second-round picks, while the Celtics are reportedly seeking a first-rounder. Kyler echoes what we heard last night, suggesting that Boston isn't averse to keeping Pierce beyond June 30th, guaranteed his full $15MM+ salary, since the team still feels he could be traded for good value later on.
- According to Kyler, there have been reports indicating the Timberwolves have interest in re-acquiring Garnett. I'm not sure exactly which reports Kyler is referring to — Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities speculated about the idea earlier this month, but said his sources shot it down. And Adrian Wojnarowski indicated last night that a reunion between Garnett and the Wolves could happen eventually, but in an off-court, ownership capacity.
- In any case, Kyler points out that trading KG still makes sense for the Celtics, and with the NBA unlikely to approve a move to the Clippers, other suitors like the Wolves could get involved (though I think Minnesota is far from Garnett's likeliest destination).
- The Clippers have long been reluctant to move Eric Bledsoe until they can officially lock up Paul long-term. Now that CP3 appears to be a lock to re-sign, L.A. may begin shopping Bledsoe in earnest. According to Kyler, there has been no shortage of suitors with offers for the young point guard.
- Sources tell Kyler that the team isn't worried about bringing back DeAndre Jordan after he was at the center of trade rumors, feeling that Rivers will be able to mend that fence. However, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (via Twitter), there's still a belief that Jordan will be moved. It may not happen right away though, as the Clippers take time to consider their options.