According to a report by Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday, the Celtics are deep in discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers regarding a trade that would send forward Kevin Garnett and the rights to head coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles.
The Clippers are reportedly prepared to send DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks to Boston in the deal, but the final hurdle involves the Clips’ willingness to include point guard Eric Bledsoe in the deal as well.
According to sources, the Celtics really want the 23-year old Bledsoe included in the deal and it could become a make-or-break factor. Both teams are looking to complete the deal or completely break off negotiations within the next few days.
The Celtics can’t officially include Rivers in a player transaction, but they can be persuaded to release the coach from his current deal so that he can sign a new deal with another team. The Clippers are reportedly prepared to pay Rivers in the neighborhood of what the C’s are paying him now, around $7 million a year.
The deal makes a lot of sense on both sides. The Clippers land one of the NBA’s best and most well-respected coaches in Rivers, who will be able to attract superstars (possible Chris Paul and/or Dwight Howard) to Los Angeles, and KG, who can be a veteran leader and role-player off the bench for a contending Clips squad.
Celtics assistant Tyronn Lue may also join Rivers and Garnett in Los Angeles. I’ve said in the past that if Rivers left Boston, Lue would be my leading candidate to replace him as head coach.
Meanwhile, the Celtics would land a talented and promising young big man (tough to come by in today’s NBA) in Jordan, two valuable first rounders, and (potentially) a young, athletic stud PG with Bledsoe in exchange for a coach who doesn’t really want to be in Boston anymore and an aging veteran on the decline.
If completed, the Celtics would be looking at a potential starting five of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, and DeAndre Jordan, with a bench that could include Bledsoe, Paul Pierce (who may or may not be dealt), and Brandon Bass. Not a bad squad for a rebuilding team.