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BOSTON (CBS/AP) – It’s official: Doc Rivers is free to coach the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Celtics announced the deal on Tuesday in a release:
The Boston Celtics announced today that they have allowed Doc Rivers to pursue a coaching opportunity with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Celtics will receive a future first round pick from the Clippers in exchange for allowing Rivers to depart.
Rivers, 51, was named Celtics head coach on April 29, 2004 and was the 16th head coach in franchise history. In his nine seasons with Boston, Rivers amassed a record of 416-305 during the regular season and 59-47 during the postseason.
Rivers is expected to be introduced by L.A. on Wednesday. He will not only serve as the team’s head coach, but also their Senior VP of Basketball Operations.
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The Celtics and Clippers had been in talks since last weekend, but hit multiple snags along the way. The original trade discussed would have also sent center Kevin Garnett to L.A. in a package with Rivers for draft choices, center DeAndre Jordan and point guard Eric Bledsoe. The Clippers didn’t want to include Bledsoe, the Celtics wanted them to take a veteran contract back, and then wanted a first-rounder added to the mix.
The two teams reportedly agreed on a deal that would have sent Rivers and Garnett out west for Jordan and two first round picks, but NBA Commissioner David Stern said he would not allow that trade — as teams are not allowed to trade active players for a coach.
Now, Garnett remains in Boston while Rivers heads out West for his new team.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge spoke to the media Tuesday night. The team had originally called a press conference last Friday with Rivers after talks had appeared to have broken off, but that move may have been what got the Clippers back in the discussion to acquire Rivers — who is at the top of free agent point guard Chris Paul’s coaching wish list.
“We don’t have a championship without Doc Rivers coaching,” said Ainge. “He did an unbelievable job. He has a long history of great success with us in the last nine years, and we wish him the best in Los Angeles.”
With Doc now in tow, Paul is expected to sign a max deal with the Clippers.