BOSTON (CBS) – The Celtics-Clippers trade talks have become a full-on soap opera.
After the two sides agreed on a deal, the NBA squashed it because a coach cannot be traded in a player transaction. Now, the Clippers don’t want to offer the Celtics anything in return for Doc Rivers — who has three years remaining on his contract with Boston.
The Boston Globe’s Baxter Holmes joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show on Thursday night, and said the odds of anything going down between the Boston and LA is “a long shot.”
“It’s fascinating that they would talk about including compensation in a previous form of a deal – one that actually wasn’t even allowed under league rules – but when they talk about a separate deal just for Doc, where you can include picks for compensation, they don’t want to do it,” said Holmes. “It really begs the question, what is their motivation? Did they ever want to actually do a deal?… it really casts doubt on the likelihood anything gets done.”
Reports say the Clippers are focusing in on just Doc right now, but have also been talking with other candidates — who they wouldn’t have to pay as much as Rivers. Holmes says that wrinkle makes the chances of a deal getting done for just Doc even slimmer.
“It makes it doubtful they would offer any kind of real compensation where the Celtics would say that’s fair,” he said. “It’s a long shot at best, I do not expect it to get done.”
“There’s no way the Celtics accept nothing (for Doc Rivers),” he added.
“It’s possible something could get done where Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and, maybe down the line, Paul Pierce could be playing for the Clippers. It would just take some time and some finagling to make it look like the deals are not related.”
So if Rivers does wind up back in Boston, how will he be received by fans and his team?
“I’m terribly interested if Doc comes back, and I’ve been told how everything has unfolded it seems like he’ll be back. I’m interested to know what the fan reaction would be when Doc comes out of the tunnel – knowing this is a guy that didn’t want to be here,” said Holmes. “It’s terribly awkward. If you’re trying to leave somebody for greener pastures, and the only reason you’re stuck is because of contractual obligations, that’s going to be awkward at the dinner table.”