BOSTON (CBS) — The Clippers and Celtics reportedly both still want to complete the deal that’s been brewing for the past week, but the NBA has other ideas. With ESPN reporting on Thursday that it was “unlikely” for the league to approve of any deal involving players Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce as well as head coach Doc Rivers going to L.A., the two teams are apparently getting creative.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported later in the day via Twitter that the Clippers’ new focus is to work on acquiring Rivers first, and then try to acquire Garnett and Pierce in a separate deal afterward.

Shelburne and Marc Stein reported the Clippers’ two challenges are offering enough to the Celtics for them to let Rivers go, and then “hope” any future trade agreement for Garnett is approved by the league.

The original report from Shelburne and Marc Stein said that the league had “serious misgivings about the proposed transactions because Garnett and Rivers have been shopped by the Celtics as a package deal, which would violate NBA rules prohibiting contingencies or sides deals in any trade.”

The proposed deal has reportedly gone several different ways in the past week, with talks at one point being considered “dead” before picking back up on Wednesday.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday afternoon that though the two teams hadn’t talked in several hours, both were still trying to work out a deal that would not get rejected by the NBA.

The Celtics reportedly want DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks from the Clippers in exchange for Rivers and Garnett. Wojnarowski said that the Clippers are still unwilling to give up a first-round pick for the rights to Rivers. Now, another major hurdle seems to be coming to an agreement that satisfies the league’s restrictions.

Shelburne reported a deal getting done on Thursday was very unlikely, due to the number of complications as well as Game 7 of the Finals taking place.


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