NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday he has spoken to the Celtics and the Clippers about their proposed trade of Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and two first-round draft picks, and warned them that the deal -- as constituted -- is illegal per NBA rules.
The NBA prohibits trades for a coach, and prohibits having side deals or contingencies as part of a trade. And the league doesn't allow breaking a proposed trade into separate parts -- say, making a straight Garnett-for-Jordan swap, and then having the Clippers send the picks to Boston as compensation for the right to sign Rivers -- to skirt the law.
"I would say that if we know that what the parties really wanted to do is to one [trade], [that] they're going to break [the deal] into two for 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 Colin Cowhert on ESPN Radio.
He said the clubs are aware of both the rules, and Stern's feelings.
"The teams sort of -- how shall I say this? -- the teams know that," he said.
Multiple reports say the teams are now attempting to rework the deal to satisfy the league.