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Clippers hire Rivers as coach

The SportsXchange

The Los Angeles Clippers announced Tuesday that Doc Rivers is the team's new coach and senior director of basketball operations after the Boston Celtics agreed to release him from the final three years of his contract worth $21 million in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2015.

Rivers, who guided the Celtics to an NBA championship in 2008, assumes the reigns of a team that hopes to retain superstar Chris Paul and advance deeper in the playoffs next season.

Rivers was expected to fly to Los Angeles on Tuesday and sign his contract in front of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. A news conference is planned for Wednesday.

The money and length of the contract are the same as what had remained on his Celtics contract, according to reports.

Discussions had slowed over the past few days while Rivers sought assurances from Sterling, including having the final say on all player decisions.

The teams had tried to work out a trade that would send Rivers and Celtics forward Kevin Garnett to the Clippers in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, but NBA commissioner David Stern said he would veto such a deal, citing the collective bargaining agreement.

Rivers leaves a team in decline in Boston for a team on the rise in Los Angeles. The Clippers entered the playoffs as the fourth seed but blew a 2-0 lead and fell to the fifth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in six games.

The Clippers declined to renew coach Vinny Del Negro's contract last month.

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