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Stern: Rivers can't be traded

The SportsXchange

NBA commissioner David Stern will not approve any deal that involves a player-head coach trade, putting the simmering trade talks between the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics on ice.

Stern said Thursday the league wouldn't accept the deal, even if split into two parts, because they identify Doc Rivers as the centerpiece.

"I would say: in the language of diplomacy that the teams are aware that the collective bargaining agreement doesn't authorize trades involving coaches' contracts," Stern said. "The only consideration that can be done here in player transactions is other players, draft picks, and a very limited amount of cash. But coaches contracts don't qualify as extra consideration, or acceptable consideration in player transactions. The teams know that. It has been confirmed to them."

As a result of Stern's comments, the Clippers are adopting a new strategy of trying to acquire Rivers first, then attempting to acquire Garnett and Paul Pierce in a later, separate deal, ESPN.com reported.

The Clippers must still offer Boston enough compensation to let Rivers go.

But the bigger obstacle is that Stern's comments suggest the league would not allow the Clippers to acquire Rivers by making that transaction a separate deal.

"What the rules won't allow, it can't be gotten around by breaking it up into two transactions," NBA commissioner David Stern said in a radio interview, the Boston Globe reported.

When asked specifically whether the deal for Rivers and the one involving players could be broken up into two separate transactions, Stern said in the radio interview, "If you think those would now -- at this point, having been all over the media for the last week or so -- are separate transactions ... I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I would very much enjoy selling to you," Stern said.

Stern cited the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, which prohibits trading a player for a coach and "side deals attached" to trades are also prevented by NBA rules.

The Los Angeles Times reported the Clippers were trying to makes tweaks to the deal, all while interviewing Indiana Pacers assistant head coach Brian Shaw.

Stern told ESPN Radio Thursday the Celtics and Clippers had been notified the proposed trade, which would've sent Kevin Garnett and Rivers to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and multiple first-round picks, was not permissible.
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