According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the trade between the Clippers and the Celtics is officially dead.
Rivers will make a choice between returning to the Celtics for his 10th season as coach or leaving for television, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The ramifications for the Clippers could be significant, because free agent All-Star guard Chris Paul had badly wanted Rivers as his coach and had pushed management to complete a deal with Boston, sources said.
The Clippers raised the idea of a future second-round draft pick with Boston on Friday, sources said, but Celtics general manager Danny Ainge had been clear throughout the discussions that it would take a first-round pick to free Rivers of the three years left on his Celtics deal.
If this holds true, we should get a decision on the future of Doc Rivers with the Celtics very soon. Paul Pierce’s buyout deadline is coming up soon as well, so that is another decision to be on the lookout for.
I didn’t think it was possible for Rivers to return to the Celtics after making a serious effort to become the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. However, the Celtics still wouldn’t mind having him in the fold. Rivers is one of the best coaches in the NBA still, no matter where he goes. His coaching acumen is highly touted league-wide.
The Clippers risk losing Chris Paul by not making this move because of a simple draft pick. This isn’t the brightest move, but this is still the Los Angeles Clippers. Donald Sterling still owns them and will continue to try to save pennies no matter how pertinent they are.
Wojnarowski reports that Rivers and Ainge will meet and will look to have a decision on Rivers’ future by Monday. Hopefully we’ll see Rivers return to the Celtics–I, for one, would welcome him back. I won’t lie–this has been really, really weird and annoying. But Rivers is a great coach and you don’t come by those often in the NBA.