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Report: Clippers, Celtics talks continue, but no deal yet

The SportsXchange

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers re-initiated discussions on a restructured deal that could bring coach Don Rivers and Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles in a multiplayer deal, ESPN.com reported.

However, another snag took place in Monday's talks, and it appears any trade will be delayed at least another day.

The teams remain unable to agree on a trade framework, although Boston apparently gave up its insistence that the Clippers include guard Eric Bledsoe in the package.

Complicating the negotiations is a report from the Boston Globe that Rivers is not sure whether he wants to coach the Clippers or remain with the Celtics. The deal is contingent on the fact that Rivers would agree to become the Clippers' head coach. However, a source close to Rivers told the Globe that Rivers is still debating whether he wants the Clippers job, especially with the trade scenarios getting more complicated.

Another issue, according to ESPN.com, is the negotiations between Rivers and the Clippers on a coaching contract. Rivers has three years left on his five-year, $35 million deal with the Celtics and he wants his Clippers salary to be in the same range.

Trade discussions seemed to break down over the weekend because the Clippers were adamant that Bldesoe will not be included in a trade for Garnett.

The proposed alternative to the inclusion of Bledsoe is having Clippers take on the contract of either Courtney Lee or Jason Terry from the Celtics. That could prevent the Celtics from demanding Bledsoe, and a trade could be completed by late Monday or Tuesday. The Celtics would get center DeAndre Jordan, the expiring contract of Caron Butler and a future first-round draft pick from Los Angeles.

Such a deal would include the Celtics' consent to allow Rivers out of the final three years and $21 million on his contract.

The Clippers believe that the deal would guarantee that Chris Paul will re-signs with the team when he becomes a free agent July 1, according to the ESPN.com report. That might also enable the Clippers to pursue Paul Pierce.

Sources told ESPN.com that there is still a good chance that a deal to bring Garnett and Rivers to the Clippers will get done.

If a deal cannot be completed, the Clippers are expected to hire Lionel Hollins or Brian Shaw as their new coach.
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