NBA Won’t Allow Celtics-Clippers Deal

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics don’t have to worry about finalizing their on-again, off-again trade for Celtics star Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers.

NBA rules won’t allow it, so for the second time in three days, this proposed deal is dead.

Both sides were reportedly informed days ago that the league would not sanction such a deal, per Ken Berger of, and NBA Commissioner David Stern has weighed in as well:

In a radio tour in the hours before Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, commissioner Stern appeared on several programs and put this saga out of its misery. His strongest comments came on ESPN Radio in New York, where Stern said, “The teams are aware that the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t authorize trades involving coaches’ contracts.”

The only incentives other than player contracts that are permitted in NBA trades, Stern said, are draft picks and cash.

“The teams know that,” Stern said. “It has been confirmed to them. … It can’t be gotten around by breaking it up into two transactions.”

Stern said — and a person familiar with the communication between the league and the teams confirmed — that there is no separating the two deals at this point because it is obvious all the pieces are part of the same negotiation.

“If you think those, at this point — having been all over the media for the last week — are separate transactions … I have a bridge that I would very much enjoy selling to you,” Stern said.

Stern’s words make it clear that it’s time to throw dirt on this deal and bury it under fantasy basketball trade scenarios that will never see the light of day.

And the league’s concerns are valid. Since when can coaches, whose salaries and true value cannot be adequately gauged or accounted for under the collective bargaining agreement, become a part of a negotiated trade?

It remains unclear whether Rivers and Celtics boss Danny Ainge have come to an understanding about a mutual parting of the ways. Reports out of Boston had them meeting Wednesday evening and possibly today to discuss the future of the franchise and the rebuilding process that could be on the horizon and what role Rivers would play, if any, in that reboot.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have kept their coaching search going (reportedly narrowing things down to Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins in recent days) through all of the rumors about Rivers joining them to coach not only Garnett but prized free agent Chris Paul.

Where this drama goes next is anyone’s guess. But the Commissioner has made it clear to all involved that the rumored deal, in whatever form it’s in right now, will not pass league muster.


  1. brain damaged says:

    how about this… heat needs inside presence and rebounding, so…

    trade: Chris Bosh+Mike Miller to Omer Asik

    then sign; Josh Smith

    is that good or possible???

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  4. lee lovitt says:

    this reminds me of when he wouldnt let the chris paul trade go through except he doesnt own the clippers so this is alot of bs

  5. good boy says:

    LAL should trade pau and nash for pierce and kg so they could sign Dwight and (CP3 or jennings) this will not only effect next year but only for the future years and they’ll become a championship contender again

  6. awesome guy says:

    I think CP3 and DH12 should go to LA just like what kobe said bec if they both go to LA it will be like Magic Johnson , James Worthy and Kareem Abdul Jabar (LA’s old big 3) only this time it will be CP3 ,DH12 and Kobe w/c will be good bec it will lead to another LA title (i’m okay w/ D’Antoni he’s doing good)

  7. lofton says:

    Well since Lakers get that time Warner money (part of it if i read it right) truthfully they can go out and sign a big name player. there may be a few tweaks they would have to do but it’s possible thanks to time Warner and the 5 billion.

  8. CheezyHoops says:

    As a C’s fan, I am beginning to wonder what Danny Ainge can get away with next. Kicking the tires of any proposed deal in the name of business is one thing, testing the loyalty of key players and fans over and over again is another. Entering into a process that by itself destroys the option of keeping things as they were, and is not in keeping with the CBA – I really can’t see how that helps.

    What’s Larry up to these days?

  9. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Yes. Chris Paul’s best fit (if he leaves LA) would be to join the Thunder. It’s very doable. The Thunder sell out (as far as I know) all their homes games, season and playoffs. Thus, they should be able to afford to pay a few measley taxes.

    The Lakers’ payroll this season was dangerously close to the REAL CAP LIMIT $100 Million. If they re-sign Howard, they will likely be over 100 Million.

    The Thunder payroll? UNDER 70 Million! The Thunder have around 20 – 40 million cap space (if they amnesty Ken Perkins) to be a major player in this Summer’s FA market.

    C’mon, Thunder!! It’s more than worth it!! If they sign Chris Paul and someone like Igoudala, they’ll still have room to re-sign Kevin Martin. Thus, they will build a DREAM TEAM that will dominate the NBA for the next decade. They will win multiple NBA Championships and regular-season #1 seeds! They will rake in all sorts of extra revenues. They can without a doubt afford to invest in Chris Paul. If Paul wants to win the next 10 NBA Championships, he must be willing to accept slightly lesser pay. Totally worth it. Chris Paul starting at PG and Westbrook starting at SG. Thus, Russ will never get injured like that ever again.

  10. J says:

    good it was silly
    kg and pierce will end their careers in boston

  11. nba says:

    technically lebron and bosh were traded, they were sign and trades for TPE Traded Player Exceptions of large amounts

  12. lonantonio13 says:

    if i were chris paul and howard i will go to the bobcats to make history! im sure jordan will give the draft picks and money for them. then kg can sign there too. that will be great! fantasy! hehehehehehehehe

  13. Andrew says:

    Kobe, and Pau takes a pay cut along with D12. We amnesity Nash so he can retire. Then sign CP3 with a paycut, and the Lakers can’t be touched.

    It can happen because it’s the Lakers. Same with the Yankees.

    Or trade Gasol, and Nash for Griffin then sign Cp3 in offseason. Re-sign D12 then you have a mega team all over again. Before you say how can they with Griffin on their team. Because you don’t think Kobe won’t take a paycut to have these guys on his team? I know D12 and CP3 will take a paycut no matter where if they get a chance to play together. Wade, Bosh, and Lebron did in MIA. Melo, Amare, and Chandler did in NY. Same with KG, Pierce, and Allen.

  14. Art says:

    In 2007 Miami received compensation from Orlando (39th pick) for releasing Stan Van Gundy. So Clippers can give Celtic draft choice (1 or 2) for releasing Doc Rivers now and trade Garnett for Jordan in October.

  15. RefsActuallyGivingSpursMoreCalls says:

    Do some of you guys read before you write comments? Stern said that a coach’s contract can not be a part of a trade deal? So why are u talking about the KG and Allen trade, and why are u talking about the Lebron and Bosh trade? Goodness, they are not coaches. READ FIRST. or go back to school

  16. keithmon says:

    The teams need to get a third team involved. One scenario would to be let Doc go and then sign Pierce and trade him with KG to a contending team that needs veteran leadership. They can probably get more for them from another team than what they could have got from the Clippers.

  17. BCPunk says:

    Yet the NBA will authorize players to conspire with other players to join teams, while one of them is still with another team! Now naming any names….

  18. kobe says:

    stern was ok with Lebron joining Heat right?

    • Mokuba says:

      that’s a free agent signing… They obeyed cap rules so of course they were all fine with it.

  19. CP3 LOLSTERN says:

    Chris Paul now opts out of contract joins Celtics instead to play with them and Doc Rivers. What can Stern do? Hmmm……What does he care? Celtics breathe new life, Clippers get cut, Miami gets a new challenge, Lakers get motivated. Sterns pays refs to rig another Celtics vs Lakers media sensation and makes BANK!!!!!!!

  20. Drew says:

    Ok fans, Chris Paul’s name made it to the NBA Finals before he did.
    This was the only time you would have heard Chris Paul’s name brought up during the Finals

  21. Gillsy says:

    So now the rumours about CP3 and Howard going to the same team can start up again.

  22. Michael Tuck says:

    Mr; Stern; Quit controling the league to get the marketing of franchises you want. You allowed the idiotic trade to the Celtics in 2008,. You always have what is right for the game in mine right? Well leave the referees alone( We know that more than Donahey were involved for years!). Everytime you have in mine your stars to sell mercxhandise, that’s the team that will be ok’d to be loaded. The NBA has become the WWF.

  23. Gillsy says:

    So my guess now is that Doc will either work somewhere else in management for Boston or start behind a microphone again. Most likely behind a microphone. Pierce will be traded at draft for picks or to move up the draft, the better option would be for a pick next year when the draft is stacked. While KG will be going to Cali just to his house to retire. The biggest thing for Boston is how their new main scorer Green handles being a main man.

  24. tom says:

    Why did Miami collected all the stars player in 1 team? Do they all get pay cut for the ring… stern approve that right?

    • tom says:

      In order to win a champ, I need: kobe melo rose kevin G , kevin D , restbook, and couple 3 pt shooter like ray allen…

      • Derp says:

        westbrook already steals the ball from KD, now you want kobe, and melo in the floor with them? xD have fun

  25. johnny dawson says:

    In other words, the price for paying off Stern was too high. Absolute power corrupts absoluetely.

  26. baller says:

    Why don’t they allow the fans to decide? After all, they are the ones paying for the salaries,

    • YOU **** says:

      If they did, people would be sending superstars to one mega team for example…the lakers or heat or whatever. You cant deny that thousands of people did this in NBA 2k games. Creating a super team is somewhat pleasing to the ears. So…. dont you think you’re comment is stupid now?

  27. #iamaceltic says:

    Doc please comeback. We need you in Boston!

  28. rj says:

    David Stern needs to retire. So the Clippers wont bring any viewers or money into your pocket . thats no reason to interfere. Stern wants Miami to win so he can sell Lebron jerseys and get his pension money with royalties.

  29. Stu-Brew says:

    The Clippers should just give it a rest already. They’re not getting Doc Rivers for their coach. Also there’s no way they’re getting KG and no way CP3 will stay with the Clippers.

  30. Ralph says:

    Oh, Stern can be fooled by a player ACTING LIKE he has been knocked to the ground (flopper), but he won’t be fooled in this instance. Who are you really trying to fool commish?

  31. I hate david stern says:

    Rules are meant to be broke, honestly the Celtics could just “fire” Doc or he could just quit and join the Clippers as part of the deal

    • kde019 says:


    • TL says:

      rivers can’t just quit and join somewhere else. if he resigns, that means that he can’t join any teams until three years later, when his current contract ends.

      but yes, theoretically celtics can fire him and he can then join somewhere else. but that’s pretty much impossible, because then celtics will still have to pay him the 21 million left on his contract, and at the same time pay another coach.

      • TrueNBAFan says:

        Then in the deal the Clippers could pay the Celtics 21 million in cash, which Stern said is ok lol

    • SoulChorea says:


  32. Just be says:

    now every Celtic fan knows that they’re not going to win titles for a long time. I say KG, n Doc Rivers, join LAC, if that happens LAL would have to think of a masterpiece, for 2013-14 new upcoming season. The clippers are rising if they keep their squat, however; an experience coach with titles as a coach not as a player, CP3 and the Clippers would at least win, a back to back series.

    PURPLE n GOLD baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • CornHole says:


    • kde019 says:

      I couldn’t find any sense in your comment.

    • So-now CP3 walks over to the Lakers and joins Dwight Howard anyways just as the Lakers had planned, originally. Wow…Stern can’t stop reality.

      • TrueNBAFan says:

        Unlikely, the Lakers will barely be able to afford Howard, there’s no way they could afford Howard, Paul, Pau, and Kobe. The Lakers would have to get rid of Gasol, Nash, and sign Howard to a non-max contract to be able to afford to get Paul. And Howard has no loyalties to the Lakers, so if he isn’t offered that max contract, he’ll have absolutely no reason to stay on a team that did worse then his Magic team did in the previous seasons.

      • skrutz says:

        Kobe and Pau (mostly Kobe) are a HUGE reason they can’t afford anything.

      • genoa says:

        They’d have to amnesty Kobe if they didn’t want to pay even more luxury tax on top of what they’re already spending, oh wait it’s the Lakers, they LOVE paying luxury taxes.