The Los Angeles Clippers have acquired Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics in exchange for a first-round draft pick, according to league sources via ESPN.com.
On Sunday, the sources confirmed that Los Angeles would eventually sign Rivers to a three-year $21 million deal. It’s also widely assumed that the agreement will increase superstar point guard Chris Paul‘s desire to sign a five-year max deal with the incumbent.
Rivers is a championship-winning coach who would immediately bring credibility to an organization that has had a difficult time of gaining respect in the shadow of the Los Angeles Lakers. The trade that brought in Paul was the first step in moving away from that, and they looked to begin building a winning product. Owner Donald Sterling has been notoriously tight with his pocketbook over the course of his tenure in Los Angeles, and the move to bring in such a respected and proven coach shows Paul and the rest of the NBA that they plan on competing year after year.
The next question is whether or not the Clippers still want to bring in veteran big man Kevin Garnett. Reports have swirled around the possibility of another trade in the works that would send DeAndre Jordan to the C’s in exchange for Garnett, but the league said it would not allow such a transaction since it would be a perceived contingency for the Rivers deal.
Blake Griffin may be affected too. Earlier in June, the Clippers floated the high-flyer’s name out as a potential piece to acquire Dwight Howard via a sign-and-trade. But with Rivers now securely on the Clippers’ sidelines, it stands to reason that they would be less likely to do so since Rivers’ coaching could have a positive influence on Griffin. The Lakers have nixed all proposals along those lines.
It all adds up to the fact that the Clippers are competing to win right away, and that’s a good sign for long-suffering Los Angelinos.
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