Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – The Boston Celtics will not release coach Doc Rivers unless they get both guard Eric Bledsoe and center DeAndre Jordan from the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade for Kevin Garnett.
A future first-round pick is also being demanded by the Celtics as compensation for Rivers, who has final three years and $21 million left on his contract. The contract of either Jason Terry or Courtney Lee is also being passed on.
But the Clippers intend to package Bledsoe with forward Blake Griffin to the Los Angeles Lakers for center Dwight Howard, in order to persuade Chris Paul to stay.
Paul and Howard wish to join forces on the same team via free agency.
Bledsoe is also being dangled to the Orlando Magic for Arron Afflalo and the Indiana Pacers for Danny Granger.
The Clippers also intend to pursue Paul Pierce to complete the acquisition of the “Boston trio.”
If neither side budges soon, the Clippers are expected to change course Tuesday or Wednesday to vie for Lionel Hollins or Brian Shaw as their new coach.
The pursuit of the Boston trio and targets such as Afflalo and Granger are all part of the Clippers’ intent to ensure that Paul re-signs and becomes an unquestioned championship contender.
Rivers reportedly feels it “may be time for a change,” after nine seasons coaching the Celtics. In case he stays, he is hopeful the Celtics retains its core instead of launching a rebuilding project around point guard Rajon Rondo.
The Celtics have to decide by the end of June whether to assume the full $15.3 million Pierce is scheduled to make in 2013-14 or buy him out for $5 million.
Another option for Boston is trying to trade Pierce in conjunction with this month’s draft. But the Celtics want Pierce go to a team of his choice if they decide to go young.