The Deal for Doc is Over -- Or Is It?

The drama between the Clippers and the Boston Celtics is over -- at least for now.

Both teams declared Tuesday that they had called off talks for a potential blockbuster deal that could have brought Boston Coach Doc Rivers and power forward Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles. But even with both sides saying they'd had their last conversation about the complicated deal, several NBA executives said it won't truly be over until the Clippers actually hire a coach who is not named Doc Rivers. The executives spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

If the Clippers don't hire a coach before the June 27 NBA draft, it probably will spark more speculation that Gary Sacks, the Clippers' vice president of basketball operations, and Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, will renew negotiations, the executives said.


Was it the two picks that killed the deal?

Drew, er, I mean Eric Bledsoe?

The Jason Terry and/or Courtney Lee contracts?

Or, perhaps, was it a conflict of interest?

What does that mean?

Well, what else would you call a situation where Team A is trying to trade a coach to Team B, and said coach is telling Team B that if they do the deal as contemplated by Team A, the coach will reject the deal. That's exactly what happened, if you believe some sources.

While Doc wanted a happy Hollywood ending (i.e., he wanted to go to the Clippers), once he heard what the Clippers were giving up to get him, he no longer wanted to go, as it would have, in his mind, compromised the success of the team he had been hired to coach (see here and here for my thoughts).

I call that an old fashioned conflict of interest.

Anyhoo, I agree with the LA Times. This deal won't be dead until I wake up the morning after the NBA draft and Doc Rivers is still employed by the Boston Celtics.

In other words, I don't expect the forthcoming press conference to resolve anything.

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