Clippers hope to add Doc Rivers before making trade with Celtics

USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers hope to appease the NBA's concerns about working around the current collective bargaining agreement.

With the NBA voicing concerns over the validity of a deal that would send both Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles, it appears the Clippers have a new strategy -- get Rivers as the head coach and worry about the rest later, according to ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein.

That means the Clippers could "roll the dice" on acquiring Garnett, in Shelburne's words. Earlier on Thursday, NBA commissioner David Stern questioned the legality of the proposed trade that was to ship Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks to Boston. The picks would essentially be a return for the Celtics allowing Rivers to join Los Angeles, but it's illegal to trade a coach or allow the compensation for Rivers be involved in a separate trade.

Stern went on ESPN Radio Thursday and said that making one deal into two simply to avoid collective bargaining agreement rules is illegal.

Moving forward, the Clippers must first agree with the Celtics on an appropriate amount of compensation for letting Rivers walk and then somehow convince the NBA that whatever trade for Garnett -- and whatever the return package might be -- is not related Rivers.

Rivers is highly sought after by Los Angeles because it is believed free agent point guard Chris Paul will re-sign with the Clippers if they can land the coach.

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