Los Angeles Clippers, Doc Rivers Deal Reportedly ‘Dead’? Not So Fast

May 3, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers watches from the sideline as they take on the New York Knicks in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The buzz around the NBA for the last few days, despite an epic NBA Finals Game 6 overtime victory by the Heat, is still the unusual deal between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics. Those talks are now reportedly dead. But how can that be?

The Boston Globe beat writer Baxter Holmes reported that the deal is no longer being discussed.

Danny Ainge confirmed to the Globe that the deal is ‘dead.’ The Los Angeles Times is also reporting the deal is ‘dead’, according to “NBA executives” who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The deal that would send Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan moved past the initial snag of whether Eric Bledsoe would be included. The Clippers were un-wiling to part with “Mini-Lebron,” and the trade was changed to Jordan and 2 first round picks.

Trading coaches is an unprecedented move. If this was a trend, Memphis and Denver could have traded George Karl and Lionel Hollins straight up. But until the Clippers fill their coaching vacancy the old fashioned way, the deal is not ‘dead,’ something that was insisted by ‘NBA executives.’

Not to dwell on  semantics too much, but how can something be dead that never was really alive. Talks aren’t ‘alive.’ Discussions being ‘dead’ is an expression which should be ‘killed.’

A discussed reason for the concluded talks is the Clippers balked at the inclusion of an additional first round pick–which is an illogical course of action. It’s a decision that says they are trying to take advantage of Doc River’s standing as the absentee coach in Boston. If Doc Rivers isn’t going to go back to Boston because he’s dousing the Bunker Hill Bridge with kerosene, the Clippers negotiating position is much stronger.

If the Clippers become the NBA Finals contender they think they are, then the discussed draft pick is a hypothetical late first rounder. Is the Clippers management that good they can predict the deepest draft ever? The Clippers reportedly won’t make the move because they don’t want to trade the equivalent of Arnett Moultrie? Who?  Moultrie who was the 27th pick in the 2012 NBA draft to Miami, traded to Philadelphia and played in the NBA D League? Seems ill-advised.

Either Donald Sterling is holding true to form and will proudly not pay a high profile coach, or this is calculated posturing and negotiating by the Clippers.

The decision could still ultimately doom the deal, but not consummating the deal due to an additional first round pick doesn’t scream ‘dead,’ ‘dying,’ or ‘life-support’ for this unprecedented deal.

Topics: Doc Rivers, Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA Free Agency

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