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Stein and Shelburne: Doc Rivers and Clippers have mutual interest

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Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne are reporting that Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers have a strong mutual interest.

Jeff Gross

Per Stein and Shelburne report:

The Los Angeles Clippers have not formally requested permission to interview Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers in the wake of widespread reports about Rivers' potential departure from Boston, but there is strong mutual interest between the parties, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that Rivers is highly intrigued by the idea of coaching the Clippers in the event that he and the Celtics part company after nine seasons together and one championship in 2008. Sources say that the Clippers, meanwhile, would immediately vault Rivers to the top of their list if he became available as they continue a coaching search that, to this point, has focused on Brian Shaw, Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins.

On the coaching front, meanwhile, Shaw, Scott and Hollins have all formally interviewed for the Clippers' opening this week.

Rivers, though, could thrust himself into that race after ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reported Wednesday that the 51-year-old believes it "may be time for a change" despite repeated insistence from Celtics president Danny Ainge that Rivers will be back on the Boston bench next season.

Sources said Thursday that the Celtics want Rivers back and are determined not let him coach another NBA team next season with three years and $21 million left on his contract. But sources added that Boston could be moved to let Rivers out of his contract depending on the level of compensation they get from the Clippers, whether that's a veteran player or future draft picks.

Interesting tweet from Arash Markazi: