Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
One source close to the process expressed optimism the sides would reach an agreement in principle by Thursday on the two deals involving Garnett and Rivers, which the Clippers believe will all but cement the signature of star guard Chris Paul when Paul becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Although sources stressed that final details were still being worked out, one trade would be a straight player swap sending Clippers center DeAndre Jordan for Garnett, with the second move calling for Boston to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation for freeing Rivers from his Celtics contract.
However, ESPN.com has learned the teams will have at least one more hurdle to clear even if they finally agree to a trade framework after days of talks and multiple breakdowns in discussions.
Sources say the Clippers and Celtics, to push the trade through, will have to convince the league office that the deals were not contingent upon each other. According to NBA rules, side agreements or contingencies are prohibited in any trade or free-agent signing. Rules also prohibit coaches from being traded; teams can convey cash or draft picks as compensation to get a coach under contract released from those obligations.
I know we’ve heard this before, but it appears this underwhelming deal is just about finished.
The remaining obstacle – the ego of David Stern.
Negating this trade could be Lord Stern’s his last power move before riding off into the sunset of retirement. It was Stern who blocked the New Orleans-Lakers-Houston mega-deal that would have netted the Lakers Chris Paul back in 2011.
If Stern claims 2 1st round picks are excessive compensation for Doc Rivers then a logical solution would be moving the additional draft pick into the Garnett-for-Jordan deal. Right?
I still think the Celtics could get a better deal from LA. Demand they take Jason Terry or Courtney Lee.
If this deal passes league muster, the next big decision lies with Paul Pierce:
Rival executives expect Boston to try to trade Pierce by month’s end if Garnett and Rivers leave in hopes of getting something for their longest-tenured player, with the team that acquires Pierce potentially setting him free before June 30 to get the $10 million in salary-cap savings.
There’s speculation if Pierce becomes a free-agent, he’ll sign a cheap deal with the Clippers.
I’d love to cheer on Pierce and Garnett (against all teams not from Boston), but I’ve lost a lot of respect for Doc Rivers.
A self-proclaimed Celtic-for-life has suddenly morphed into Phil Jackson – a ring chasing opportunist.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Doc should just go already | Yahoo! – After nudge from CP3, Clippers seek ownership approval | Herald – Ball in Clippers court now | Globe – Celtics, Clippers talks on again | CSNNE – Trade talks for Rivers back on | LA Times – Clippers, Celtics expect to resume talks Thursday