League officials are believed to have concerns with the way the two teams planned to execute a potential swap, citing the fact that there would be a breach of NBA rules which prohibit side deals or contingencies in any trade. In this instance, it was obtaining Rivers’ coaching rights that was belived to be the biggest issue.
NBA commissioner David Stern confirmed the details of the report in an interview on ESPN’s The Herd, citing the fact that the coach and players’ transactions would each be separate and therefore not allowed to coincide.
“I would say that if we know that what the parties really wanted to do is one [trade] and they’re going to break it into two for the purposes of trying to avoid the restrictions that the collective bargaining agreement places on it, we know how to deal with that as well,” Stern told show host Colin Cowherd.
Whether or not dodging the rules of the new CBA was a goal of either team is uncertain, but what is clear is the fact that Stern is stepping in and flexing his muscle as it relates to a Los Angeles team for the second time in two years. He famously blocked a Los Angeles Lakers trade with the New Orleans Hornets that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers in exchange for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
The news on the Celtics-Clippers deal comes just hours after reports surfaced that the two sides were closing in on an agreement that both were satisfied with. The Clippers were reluctant to give up guard Eric Bledsoe in addition to DeAndre Jordan. A re-worked deal was believed to include more draft picks.
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