Sources: Contract lingo holding up Doc deal
The NBA has approved the Los Angeles Clippers' acquisition of coach Doc Rivers in a deal with the Boston Celtics, a league source confirmed to ESPNBoston.com's Jackie MacMullan.
This story has been corrected. Read below.
The official completion of the deal that will send Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers is being delayed because Rivers and his representatives are still negotiating the language in the coach's new contract, league sources told ESPNBoston.com's Jackie MacMullan.
The NBA has not approved the deal yet, but the league also is not holding up the completion of the transaction, a league source told MacMullan. ESPN incorrectly reported earlier Monday that the league already had approved the deal.
Sources confirmed on Sunday that the Clippers will sign Rivers to the three-year, $21 million contract. The Boston Celtics, who agreed to release Rivers from the remaining three years and $21 million left on his current contract, will receive a 2015 first-round draft pick as compensation in the deal.
League and team sources also confirmed that any deal presently involving Kevin Garnett and the Clippers is on hold in light of NBA commissioner David Stern's objections to the appearance that the trade was related to the deal involving Rivers.
One source with knowledge of the NBA's thinking told ESPN.com that the league does not intend to change its stance as expressed by Stern in multiple radio interviews Thursday, meaning that the league would view any subsequent trade agreement between the Celtics and Clippers involving Garnett to be part of the Rivers deal and thus in violation of league rules.
Celtics forward Jeff Green said Rivers called him on Monday to inform him of the coaching change. Although Green acknowledged he was disappointed, he understands "this is a business."
"I can't speak for the other guys, but I'm not angry at all," Green told MacMullan. "I'm happy for him."
The rebuilding Celtics will be tasked with finding a replacement for Rivers, who coached Boston to a league championship in 2008 and an appearance in the NBA Finals two years later.
The Celtics reached the playoffs in each of the past six seasons under Rivers, winning five consecutive Atlantic Division titles from 2007-08 to 2011-12.
The Clippers' acquisition of Rivers apparently elevated Los Angeles' status as a preseason championship contender.
The Clippers moved from 15-to-1 odds to win the NBA championship next season to 10-to-1, according to R.J. Bell, founder of PreGame.com.
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Jackie MacMullan, ESPN.com's Marc Stein and ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne and Arash Markazi was used in this report.
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