SH Blog: Doc to the Clippers is really, truly dead (apparently); Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard are text buddies

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Doc_RiversThe NBA landscape over the last week has been dominated by two things: the Finals, obviously, and the Doc Rivers trade talks (do they have a name yet? Doc-umentary?). But now it’s time to abruptly shift gears, from a thrilling final series to a wide-open draft class. In Joe Kotoch’s latest mock, it seems the Cavs have locked in on one candidate for the #1 pick — Alex Len, and can obtain Shawn Marion in a trade that would give Mark Cuban his cap space and allow the Cavs to gain a second lottery pick.

Thursday night should be a lot of fun.

As for the Doc situation, there doesn’t appear to be much life left in those negotiations, so what remains to be seen is whether Rivers returns to coach the Celtics or retires to go back to TV. If he goes to TV, it will have a lot to do with Rivers’ strained relationship Rajon Rondo, according to Chris Sheridan.

That Rivers news kicks off our daily roundup of the latest NBA news:

  • The Doc Rivers to the Clippers talks are dead, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: “Ainge had wanted a first-round draft pick from the Clippers to let Rivers out of his contract, but the Clippers offered only a future second-round pick, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Within the NBA, there had been growing doubt that owner Donald Sterling wanted to pay the five-year, $35 million contract he had negotiated with Rivers, nor give up any first-round picks in the deal. Free-agent star Chris Paul pushed the Clippers to hire Rivers as coach, but will have to settle for Lionel Hollins, Brian Shaw or Byron Scott if he plans to re-sign with Los Angeles in July. Paul is unhappy with the fallout over the failed deal, sources told Yahoo! Sports on Friday night. Rivers plans to have a decision on Monday. He is choosing between staying with Boston for his 10th season or leaving for television. If Rivers does leave the job, the Celtics will still require compensation before he can accept a job elsewhere in the NBA.”
  • Further corroboration comes from Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald: “In the wake of a collapse in talks between the Celtics and Clippers over the release of Doc Rivers from his contract, a source has told the Herald that discussions between the teams for Kevin Garnett are “probably” dead as well. A long proposed swap of Garnett for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had been given second priority during the Rivers discussions. But Garnett, who has veto power over any trade, may not have many other locations he will approve. The Clippers made sense to the 37-year-old center because of his home in Malibu, and the chance to continue playing for Rivers. Asked if this could mean a Garnett return to the Celtics for next season, the source said, “KG in Boston is a very good option.” The source stressed that none of Danny Ainge’s deliberations are linked. As such, Paul Pierce’s future as a Celtic remains uncertain. The team can buy out the Celtics captain for $5 million on or before June 30, and record $10 million in cap savings. Asked about assertions from the Clippers that talks for Rivers are still alive, the source laughed and said, “No, it’s dead.” “

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SH Blog: Nuggets offered first-round pick for Rivers, DeAndre Jordan will be happy to play anywhere

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BOS_Rivers_DocSince when do we hear about teams offering up draft picks to acquire a head coach?

Strangely, that’s what has been happening with Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who has been all over the rumor mill as of late due to his tenuous situation with the team. At first, he was rumored to be a part of the deal that would send Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and other moving parts.  Then the proposed offer broke down when the Clippers played hard ball. A day later, Chris Paul intervened in hopes of strengthening the team he probably wants to stay with beyond this season. Unfortunately for him, what the two teams have done is not within the league’s rules. Ken Berger of CBSSports has details on the matter:

“Remember that one about Doc Rivers getting traded to the Clippers in a deal involving Kevin Garnett? Never mind.

The Celtics and Clippers were informed days ago that such an arrangement is not permitted under league trade rules, even if the deals were separated into two distinct transactions, a league source told on Thursday.

In a radio tour in the hours before Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, commissioner David 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.”

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SH Blog: No progress on Doc to Clippers, but it’s not over; Lakers still think they’ll keep Howard

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Tony ParkerAfter the Celtics-Clippers deal stalled last night, today seemed like something of a letdown. Luckily, we’ve got Game 5 of the Finals to occupy our NBA-related attention. If the Spurs lose, they go to Miami down 3-2 for games 6 and 7. Is this really the best format? Jan Hubbard doesn’t think so.

Also on Sheridan Hoops, check out our new WNBA Week in Review column for all the goings-on in the world’s top women’s basketball league.

Of course, you came here for the latest NBA news, and that’s what you’re going to get. Right after this sentence.

  • Yesterday’s big news was the potential Doc Rivers to the Clippers deal, and in case you missed it, here’s Broderick Turner of the LA Times on what went down: “The Clippers have concluded that if Boston isn’t receptive to their offer and Rivers isn’t available, they will hire either Indiana associate head coach Brian Shaw or former Memphis coach Lionel Hollins this week, according to the executives, who asked to be quoted anonymously because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. In the talks between the Clippers and Boston, the Celtics were asking for center DeAndre Jordan, Bledsoe and L.A.’s first-rounds picks this year and in 2014 in exchange for forward Kevin Garnett and the right to hire Rivers, executives said. “The Clippers don’t want to do that,” one executive said. They offered Jordan and a first-round pick either this year or next year, but the Celtics rejected the deal without Bledsoe, the executives said. “The Clippers are not going to budge,” one executive said. “The Clippers don’t want to feel as if they are being taken advantage of. Boston wants to hurry up the deal because they know Doc wants to come to the Clippers.” Rivers, if he were available, would be the Clippers’ No. 1 choice over Shaw and Hollins, executives said.”
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SH Blog: Rivers/Garnett to Clippers talks stall over Bledsoe; Kings hire ex-Nuggets assistant D’Alessandro as new GM

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Doc_RiversIt was a beautiful Saturday today, at least in the Northeast, and if you spent the day enjoying it, you might have missed one of the craziest days in recent NBA history. We got the entire life cycle of a rumor. It was great. It’s a good argument for staying in the house all day endlessly refreshing every basketball news site. Not that I do that myself or anything.

And oh yeah, the Finals are still happening, and they’re shaping up to be pretty nice. Check out Chris Sheridan’s latest to find out which start is considering retirement. Also, the draft is coming up, and we’ve got a new mock up from Joe Kotoch. Give it a look.

Now let’s get right to that rumor that ate up all the column inches and air time all day:

  • Over the last fourteen hours, the possibility of Doc Rivers coaching the Clippers has gone from a crazy idea to a genuine possibility to a seeming likelihood to apparently not going to happen, and for that whole time, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has been completely on top of everything. Here’s an excerpt from his latest Doc story, but click through for as good a summary of the whole situation as you’re going to find anywhere: “Discussions over a blockbuster deal to send Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers – with Doc Rivers as coach – reached an impasse on Saturday afternoon, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Clippers are willing to part with center DeAndre Jordan and a first-round draft pick for Garnett – and the rights to hire Rivers – but so far have refused to include Boston’s desire for point guard Eric Bledsoe into the package, sources said. Since the February trade deadline, Bledsoe had been a part of talks for Garnett, and more recently, Rivers, but that changed Saturday morning, league sources said. The Clippers were no longer willing to part with Bledsoe, sources told Y! Sports. If the deal completely falls apart, Celtics management and Rivers are still committed to his return to Boston as coach. Boston general manager Danny Ainge has requested Bledsoe and a second first-round pick, but all involved believe that Bledsoe’s inclusion into the package would get a deal done.”

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SH Blog: Kobe not planning on retiring after ’13-’14; Clippers really like Hollins; Iguodala opts out of last year of Denver contract

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GeorgeKarlIt’s a bad time to be a coach in the NBA. Six of the sixteen coaches whose teams made the playoffs just a couple months ago are no longer with their teams, and the future of a seventh is still in question. Is that really how it’s supposed to go? Jim Boylan in Milwaukee is one thing, the Bucks had a losing record and only made the playoffs because the rest of the East was miserable, but George Karl? Vinny Del Negro? Lionel Hollins? There are people who get paid a whole lot more money than I will ever make in my life who thought those three weren’t good enough coaches to keep on, despite leading their teams to top-five finishes in the brutal West, in two cases with rosters devoid of traditional superstars. Moreover, none of them have hired replacements yet. So maybe I’m just missing something. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Today’s blog has a ton of coaching carousel news, including some speculation on the fate of that potential seventh playoff coach who could be leaving town. Let’s get started.

  • The rumors that Chris Paul and Dwight Howard want to play together have been out there for months (seriously, I think I had something about it here in like, March), but if Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine is to be believed, they’re more serious than we thought: “Chris Paul and Dwight Howard have been in consistent contact recently about the possibility of becoming teammates next season, according to league sources. Paul and Howard will be the biggest free agents on the market this summer, and their desire is to play together, the sources said. “They would love to play together if somebody can make it happen,” one of the sources said. The Atlanta Hawks could make it happen. Atlanta, which is Howard’s hometown, has the cap room to sign both players to maximum-salaried contracts. Howard is not particularly fond of the idea of returning to Atlanta, but he would do so to team up with Paul, the sources said.”

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