Celtics-Clippers deal off again

Celtics-Clippers deal off again
June 21, 2013, 4:45 pm
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BOSTON — Another day, another Celtics-Clippers trade bites the dust.

And resuscitating it at this point might not be possible, a source told CSNNE.com.

The Celtics will not budge off their demands that any deal to free up Doc Rivers to coach the Los Angeles Clippers has to involve the C's getting some form of compensation in return - something the Clippers apparently are not willing to do.

Both sides have gone back and forth the past couple of weeks, trying to find a common ground that would eventually lead to Rivers coaching a Clippers team that would be bolstered by the addition of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce along with Rivers.

Garnett would arrive via a trade for DeAndre Jordan, but that portion of trade talks has been put on hold.

Pierce would not be part of a trade, but instead be added after what the Clippers anticipate will be the Celtics buying out the final year of Pierce's $15.3 million contract, for just $5 million.

However, the NBA has made it clear to both teams that no transaction involving a coach, can include players.

And while the Celtics and the Clippers can try and create two separate transactions, NBA commissioner said that's not necessarily going to work, either.

"If you think those, at this point -- having been all over the media for the last week -- are separate transactions ... I have a bridge that I would very much enjoy selling to you," Stern said on ESPN Radio New York.

As reported by CSNNE.com earlier this week, both sides now have to look much closer at adding players to a possible trade in order for it to be approved by the league office - something neither side has shown any desire to do.

But this most recent killing of the deal that just won't die, looks more dire than previous setbacks because of the timing.

Rivers and Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, had a press conference scheduled for noon at the team's practice facility.

It was initially canceled and, moments later, rescheduled for Monday afternoon.

Rivers was set to return to his home in Florida, presumably to decide if he wants to return as the C's coach or take some time off.

Rivers returning to the Celtics sideline after all that has happened will not be easy or comfortable for anyone involved.

But a source close to the negotiations told CSNNE.com that Rivers' desire for now is to coach next season.

If that's true, his only option at this point may be to return to the C's for what will be his 10th season. Brooklyn asked for permission to talk with Rivers and were denied.

And Yahoo Sports! reported earlier that the C's turned down the Denver Nuggets who offered the Celtics a first-round pick to release Rivers from the three years and $21 million remaining on his contract.

Of the vacant coaching jobs out there, the Clippers job is arguably the best of the bunch which makes it unlikely that Rivers would pursue any of them.

The Celtics may be in this same predicament a year from now, with teams knowing all too well that there is a price to be paid to get Rivers free from his contract with the Celtics.