The potential trade between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers hit a snag when the NBA raised issues about legality of such a deal on Thursday, and with talks stalled, Boston made a bold move and scheduled a press conference with Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and head coach Doc Rivers for noon Friday. Within minutes of that initial announcement, Boston rescheduled the presser for Monday, which probably means they captured the attention of Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who has so far been reluctant to part with draft picks in exchange for the right to negotiate a new contract with Rivers.
With the NBA standing in the way of a larger deal contingent on a Kevin Garnett trade, it's unlikely that Ainge and Rivers would have announced a new, unknown transaction to the media. It seems as if Ainge and the Celtics floated the press conference to call Sterling's bluff and bring him back to the negotiating table. It would have been glorious to experience the awkward moments between Rivers and Ainge as they tried to smooth over situation that has been ripped apart at the seams by the NBA rumor mill, but the progression of the trade talks suggests everyone still has a legitimate stake in getting a deal done -- at the right price.
I guess the Celtics have finally found the thing that gets Sterling to move. Schedule a press conference - that'll do it.— CelticsBlog (@celticsblog) June 21, 2013
For now, the Celtics have put their announcement on hold. They've created a new negotiating window that lasts through the weekend, and Sterling has another opportunity to haggle over the appropriate compensation for releasing Rivers from the obligations under his five-year, $35 million deal with the Celtics. By the time Monday comes around, Boston may be ready to announce something completely different than what they had planned to say on Friday. That's how you drive a bargain with Donald Sterling and the Clippers, I guess.