MIAMI — Here we go ... again.
The Celtics' on-again, off-again trade talks with the Los Angeles Clippers are back on.
On the day that Doc Rivers and C's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge were supposed to sit down and discuss his future, once again that future may result in Rivers emerging as the new coach of the Clippers.
And the man driving both teams back to the table to work out a trade is Clippers guard Chris Paul.
The key player involved in the proposed trade from Boston's end is Kevin Garnett who would waive his no-trade clause to play for Rivers in Los Angeles.
Sources told the Los Angeles Times that talks have ended for the night, but are expected to resume Wednesday.
At this past All-Star weekend in Houston, Paul made it known to anyone within earshot that he would love an opportunity to someday play with Garnett.
"KG is one of those guys that's once in a lifetime," Paul said at the time. "I'll never forget the first two or three times I played against KG when I came into the league. We both got techs every game just because of the intensity. He'd say something to me, and I wasn't going to back down. He's one of those guys that I genuinely appreciate and always said this, 'I'd love to have KG on my team.' He's focused and I love that about him."
Paul, a free agent-to-be that the Clippers desperately need to re-sign this summer, just may get his wish if the Clippers meet the Celtics' asking price which most recently was DeAndre Jordan and a pair of first-round picks.
Now that Paul has made his feelings on the matter known, the Clippers have little choice but to give the C's what they were asking for.
But it is unclear if the Celtics, well aware that whatever leverage the Clippers felt they had has been somewhat taken away by Paul's involvement, may once again ask that Eric Bledsoe be included in the trade.
The thinking before was that the Clippers didn't want to include Bledsoe because they weren't sure if Paul would re-sign with them or take his talents elsewhere.
But by adding Garnett and Rivers, a league source said that will be all that Paul needs in order to feel good about re-signing next month.
For Boston, it would also make the C's more likely to either buy out the final year of Paul Pierce's contract for $5 million, or continue to look at possible trades involving the Captain.
If Pierce were to be bought out, he would most likely resurface with the Clippers who play just a short distance from Pierce's hometown of Ingelwood, Calif.
But as these talks have proven in the past, nothing is official until the ink dries.
This will be the fourth separate occasion these these teams have talked about making this trade - and that doesn't include their dialogue leading up to the trading deadline in February.
Previous talks broke down when both sides couldn't find common ground.
Boston's insisted on Bledsoe being included in their first stab at getting a deal done, was shot down. The Celtics would take that off the table, and requested that the Clippers take back at least one of their long-term contracts.
Courtney Lee and Jason Terry are each owed $5.2 and $5.45 million over the next two seasons, with Lee's contract having an additional year that pays him $5.675 million.
In their last session of trade talks, the C's scaled back their trade request to Jordan and a pair of first-round picks, with the Clippers reportedly indicating that the Celtics at that time were "asking for too much" and instead wanted to give Boston Jordan and one first-round pick.
Still, everything is different now with that Paul is involved and has made it known that he wants both Garnett and Rivers to be in Tinseltown and wants the Clippers to do whatever is necessary to make it happen.