Doc-to-Clippers deal held up by contract

Doc-to-Clippers deal held up by contract
June 24, 2013, 7:00 pm
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WALTHAM, Mass. — And so we wait ... again.

The deal that would send Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers is still not yet complete, according to multiple league sources.

The apparent hang-up this time doesn't involve the Celtics and the Clippers; but instead it's Doc Rivers and the Clippers still trying to iron out the specifics of a contract that's expected to pay Rivers $21 million over the next three years.

That amount and years is equal to what was left on Rivers' deal in Boston, which the C's are willing to relinquish him from with the Clippers giving the Celtics compensation in the form of a 2015 unprotected first-round pick.

That part of the trade is not in question, league sources said on Monday.

The idea that this on-again, off-again trade is taking a little bit longer to close, is not all that surprising.

"I'm sure the Celtics would have loved to have had this thing wrapped up quickly," said a league executive. "But come on! ... it's the Clippers they're dealing with. Everything seems to take a little longer to get done, when dealing with them."

The Clippers have a reputation throughout the league of being relatively slow when it comes to finalizing deals, even ones that seem relatively straight forward like a draft pick for the rights to sign a new coach.

Throw in the time difference between the Clippers' headquarters in Los Angeles and the NBA's office in New York, and it amounts to a sometimes slow-moving process being even slower in this instance.

And with all the money that the Clippers are putting themselves on the hook for by hiring Rivers, the highest-paid coach in the league, you can expect there will be even closer attention paid to all the dotted "i's" and crossed "t's" by both parties.

And as far as the deal getting derailed at this point, multiple sources don't anticipate that happening.

"They both know it's too late to turn back now," an NBA source said. "They can't walk away from this deal, not being as close as they are now."

Meanwhile, the Celtics will keep their press conference set-up in place for now, sensing that it will take place someday soon.