Doc Rivers was officially traded from the Boston Celtics to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for an unprotected first-round pick in 2015. When the trade between the teams was first discussed, it was believed that Kevin Garnett would be a part of the deal. However, the NBA nixed that, saying that the league’s collective bargaining agreement prevents a coach from being traded for players (they can only be traded for cash and/or draft picks). David Stern also said he would block potential trades of Garnett to the Clippers because trades are not allowed to be contingent upon other moves.
Though the NBA approved the trade of Rivers to the Clippers, they are making it difficult for Garnett, and possibly Paul Pierce, to go to the Clippers.
According to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger, part of the compensation deal for Rivers states that the Clippers and Celtics cannot trade players until the end of the 2013-2014 season. Celtics GM Danny Ainge said in his press conference Tuesday that he believes the NBA mandated that part of the deal.
ESPN’s Marc Stein does say there may be a possibility for Garnett and Pierce to end up with the Clippers despite the league preventing trades between the sides. Stein says KG and Pierce could join the Clippers if they are bought out by the Celtics and choose to sign with the Clips as free agents.
The Celtics hold an option Pierce for at $15.3 million next season, and they could decide to buy him out for $5 million.
“I love Paul and KG. And we haven’t made that decision yet,” Ainge said Tuesday. “I’m not certain of either one of those decisions.”
Garnett is set to earn $12.4 million next season from the Celtics.
The Clippers may have gotten their coach, but the likelihood of them getting the Celtics’ other top players may not be strong at this point.