The Los Angeles Clippers are continuing to withhold any offers of compensation to secure the rights to Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and are threatening to blow up the blockbuster deal they've negotiated with the coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
After Clippers management privately insisted to people that they were awaiting approval of owner Donald Sterling on draft-pick compensation for Rivers, no offer has been made to the Celtics and there's growing concern in multiple corners of these talks that the Clippers' front office has no authority to meet Boston's request of a first-round pick to bring Rivers to Los Angeles as coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Celtics and Clippers have been in contact with the league office on the proposed Kevin Garnett and Rivers transactions and NBA commissioner David Stern has made it clear that the Garnett-DeAndre Jordan part of the trade talks cannot be completed simultaneously with the securing of Rivers' rights through draft picks.
As free-agent star Chris Paul pressures the Clippers to get deals done for Rivers and eventually Garnett, the Clippers' unwillingness to make a formal offer to Boston for compensation on Rivers has left many in the process confused, sources said.
Boston will not relinquish the rights to Rivers without compensation – likely a first-round pick – and let him free of the final three years, $21 million on his contract, sources said.
Boston has insisted on Jordan and a first-round pick for Garnett, and would allow Rivers out of his contract to join the Clippers in a separate deal for a first-rounder, sources said.
The Clippers negotiated a five-year, $35 million deal with Rivers that could be worth as much as $8 million annually with bonus incentives, sources said. Rivers has arrangements to bring some Celtics support staff – including assistants coaches Tyron Lue and Kevin Eastman, and possibly others – with him to Los Angeles, sources said.
The Clippers haven't pushed Paul for a firm commitment to re-sign based on the completion of the deal, but Rivers would accept the job with a belief that the All-Star point guard has decided to stay and play for him, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
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