David Stern: NBA ready to veto any Doc Rivers trade between Celtics and Clippers
The on-again, off-again rumors of a possible trade or trades between the Celtics and Clippers that would include Boston coach Doc Rivers along with Kevin Garnett, DeAndre Jordan and draft picks are totally off, at least according to NBA commissioner David Stern.
Recent reports indicated that the two teams might try to circumvent a rule banning the trade of a coach’s contract by making two separate deals: one involving Garnett for Jordan and the other involving picks or other compensation in an indirect exchange for Rivers, who would need to be let out of his current deal, which still has three years and $21 million remaining on it.
CBSSports.com notes that Stern told ESPN Radio in New York that the league would not approve that arrangement because Rivers’ inclusion violates the collective bargaining agreement and that the multiple trade scenarios are an obvious circumvention of league rules.
“The teams are aware that the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t authorize trades involving coaches’ contracts.”
“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.
In a separate ESPN radio interview, Stern repeated that the NBA was aware of the possible end-around plans and ready to act if a final proposal involving multiple trades came to fruition.
“I would say that if we know that what the parties really want to do is one [trade and] they are going to break into two [trades] for purposes of trying to avoid the restrictions that the collective bargaining agreement places on it, we know how to deal with that as well,” he said.
Yahoo! Sports reported early Thursday morning that the two teams were still engaged in conversations, with Clippers All-Star guard Chris Paul urging owner Donald Sterling to land Rivers and Garnett.
Sterling interviewed Cavaliers coach Byron Scott and Pacers assistant Brian Shaw this week, according to the Los Angeles Times, as the Clippers look to fill the coaching vacancy created when they parted ways with Vinny Del Negro in May.