8:52pm: Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reports that Danny Ainge had denied the Clippers permission to contact Rivers earlier this week, though Rivers is said to now be intrigued at the prospect of other coaching opportunities.
7:57pm: Frank Isola of the New York Daily News (via Twitter) cites a source who tells him that Rivers ending up with the Clippers is "gaining momentum."
4:01pm: If Doc Rivers decides to part ways with the Celtics this offseason, there would be "strong mutual interest" between Rivers and the Clippers, according to Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. The ESPN.com duo reports that the idea of coaching the Clippers would be highly intriguing to Rivers, and that the current Celtics coach would be L.A.'s number one choice should he become available.
According to Stein and Shelburne, the Celtics would like Rivers to return and don't want to see him coaching another team next season, considering he has three years left on his contract in Boston. However, if Rivers decided he wanted to leave, the C's could potentially be persuaded to let him go to the Clippers if they received compensation, whether that came in the form of a veteran player or draft picks.
The ESPN.com report also includes a number of other juicy Clippers and Celtics tidbits, so we'll round them up here:
- Trade discussions between the two teams prior to February's deadline included expanded deals which would have sent both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Clippers, with Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan among the pieces going to Boston. While those talks were unsuccessful at the time, it's possible the two sides could revisit them this summer. As the ESPN.com scribes point out, the L.A. job could become even more appealing to Rivers if Garnett or Pierce were heading west with him.
- No matter who is hired as the Clippers' head coach, the team is expected to very aggressive when it comes to roster moves, looking to re-sign Chris Paul and then upgrade the roster around CP3 and Blake Griffin.
- The Clippers have some interest in the rumored deal that would send Bledsoe and Caron Butler to the Magic in exchange for Arron Afflalo, but would likely want at least one more asset to part with Bledsoe.
- If the Celtics decide to bring back Pierce, it would greatly increase the odds of Garnett playing another season, which in turn would figure to improve the chances of Rivers returning as well.