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Celtics

Celtics-Clippers Resuming Talks, But Who Will Budge First?

By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
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Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers are expected to get back to work on Tuesday morning, trying to iron out a deal that would land Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett in Los Angeles.

The Celtics and Clippers have the framework for a deal, but the most recent snag centers around the number of draft picks that Boston would receive in return, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.

Boston reportedly wants two first round picks in addition to center DeAndre Jordan, while the Clippers only want to send one.

The Celtics have already backed off their stance that guard Eric Bledsoe must be included in the deal. That stalemate nearly ended discussions over the weekend, but Boston relented and got the discussions going again. Instead, they insisted Los Angeles take back either Jason Terry or Courtney Lee and their remaining contracts, but again, the Clippers said no. And once again, the Celtics backed down, requesting the two picks.

Now, the Clippers are saying no again, which is not a shocker given their 40-year history of cheapness under Donald Sterling. But will  it frustrate Danny Ainge enough to do the same, and would that even be an option for Ainge at this point?

It has to be infuriating for Ainge and the Celtics that the Clippers aren’t willing to part with a second (most-likely) late first round pick in return for a future Hall of Famer and championship coach. LA feels that Doc is the missing piece to get point guard Chris Paul to sign an extension, but they must feel just as confident enough in their backup plan(s) to get cheap with their return in the Celtics, hoping that Ainge settles for the minimum.

Ainge has settled before, backing off his request for James Harden from Oklahoma City for Kendrick Perkins back in 2010. He settled for Jeff Green, who emerged last season, but didn’t bring the offensive firepower Harden would have in 2010.

Green is starting to pan out, and anything the Celtics get in return would likely take a year, or two or five, to pan out anyways. That may make it worth it in Ainge’s eyes, even if there is just one pick coming back in return.

If the deal, or any deal to send Doc and KG out West, doesn’t go down, Boston is out of luck. It’s doubtful any other team is looking to trade for the coach/center combo, and both could retire if the deal falls through rather than come back to Boston and face the music. Despite bringing a title in 2007, both have been criticized for not sticking to the respective contracts they signed recently (Rivers a five-year extension in 2010 and Garnett a three-year deal in 2011) in hopes of adding another ring to their resumes out West. It’s getting to the point where retiring (or taking time off in Doc’s case) might be the better option than face whatever backlash from these rumors, and more importantly, a rebuild.

But it will be tough for that rebuild to begin should Ainge and the Celtics get nothing in return for Garnett and Rivers. It’s approaching zero-hour for Ainge to get something for the pair, and he may once again have to settle.

The deal and everything about have been changing by the hour — or more so by the Tweet — so anything is possible. But eventually, someone will have to budge, and right now, it doesn’t look like that will be the Clippers.

Follow Matthew Geagan on Twitter @MattyGWBZ

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