The talks between the Clippers and the Celtics about allowing Doc Rivers to coach the Clippers have broken off once again. Depending on who you believe, they are either taking a break and will continue after the weekend, or it's all done.
After talks failed again on Friday, Doc Rivers will no longer pursue the Clippers coaching job, league source tells Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 21, 2013
It should be noted that Woj's source is obviously in Boston's camp. Throughout this process, his information -- while very good -- has always been tinged more than a little green.
Rivers is obviously the key here. If indeed he no longer has interest in the Clippers job, then there's nothing to talk about. The leverage the Clippers had, from day one, has been that Rivers wanted to coach the Clippers and that Garnett was willing to waive his no trade clause. It made the Clippers the only game in town, and they've behaved that way pretty consistently.
But it's also clearly in the Boston camp's interest to convey that Rivers is done to try to force some movement from the Clippers -- so this could be another ploy, like the mysterious press conference that wasn't Friday morning.
As always, this deal is not dead until the Clippers hire a coach not named Doc Rivers. If Rivers is truly out, then that could happen sooner rather than later. But I'll believe it when the Clippers make a hire.
There have been various rumors about, but the current story is that the Clippers have offered nothing more than a second round pick in consideration for the Celtics releasing Rivers. Earlier reports had that as a 2015 first rounder. Whatever it is, the Celtics want more than the Clippers have offered -- but they'll get nothing if this deal falls through.
[Note by Steve Perrin, 06/21/13 5:10 PM PDT ] At the risk of repeating myself, you should not believe it when someone writes that the deal is dead... it's only dead when the Clippers hire a coach. By quoting sources saying the deal is dead, reporters can say "Hey, it's not me, I didn't say it was dead, I was just quoting the guy" but after the "dead, dead, dead" talk from Tuesday, you'd think that everyone would shy away from the D-word. Maybe the deal is finally over, and maybe it's not, but I'm going to get quite a chuckle if there are more talks after Woj's source called it "completely dead" this time. If he's trying to do the Miracle Max thing, the least he can do is get the terminology right -- the phrase you're looking for is "all dead" -- at which point we go through the deal looking for loose change.
But yeah, Woj is not optimistic at this point:
Rivers informed the Clippers on Friday afternoon that he no longer had interest in L.A.'s job, sources tell Y! It's Celtics or TV now.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 21, 2013
If he's correct, the Clippers will fast track the hire of a different coach with the draft looming on Thursday. All I can say is, stay tuned.