While the rest of the world is enamored with Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers are still attempting to get their rumored blockbuster trade done.
Mark Heisler of SportsCity reports that the two will resume talks before the NBA Draft which is on June 27th:
The Celtics and Clippers aren’t talking again but, barring coaching hires or announcements Doc Rivers is returning, the teams will re-engage before the June 27 draft, a source told SportsCity.com.
“No big deal is done before one or both teams walk away at least once,” said the source.
As many have said this deal isn’t officially dead until the Clippers hire a new head coach (Brian Shaw getting a second interview today) or if Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers come to some sort of compromise.
Heisler cites the Clippers withholding a first-round draft pick, DeAndre Jordan’s trade-kick and the Celtics wanting the Clips to take back Jason Terry or Courtney Lee and their contract as reasons why the deal has hit a wall. If the Celtics really want Jordan as they’ve put off then the trade kicker won’t matter.
As far as the Clippers not wanting to trade two first round picks this team has to ask themselves where they expect to be in a few years. If they re-sign Chris Paul they’ll still have him paired with a growing Blake Griffin which is at least a 6th seed in the Western Conference depending on the surrounding parts. Those first round picks aren’t going to hurt them. Their draft picks since Paul joined the team have been Travis Leslie, Trey Thompkins and Furkan Aldemir. Before you blurt out a “who” I’ll move on. And before you say “well trading DeAndre Jordan and two first round picks for a 37 year old Kevin Garnett” remind yourself that if you get KG, Doc Rivers and possibly Paul Pierce are coming right behind him. I think that’s worth the swap. And if there’s a doubt about the future, just make the pick top-3 protected.
The real issue comes with taking back either Terry or Lee’s contract. Terry has 2-years and $10 million left on his deal. Lee has 3-years $15 million left. While the contract may not be ideal for his production, Lee could be a key piece. As far as Terry, Donald Sterling would be smart to stay far away from any deal that has him taking that $10 million back. He’d be redundant alongside Jamal Crawford and if they desperately need a player similar to Terry’s skillset Chauncey Billups will be awaiting in the offseason for millions less.
Things feel too far along to go back. Rivers has basically quit on his team. We killed the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard for wanting out to go to a better, contending team. I can’t imagine how fans of the Celtics feel right now. And despite Rivers attempt to leave during rough times, this trade could put the Celtics in good terms going ahead. Can the Clippers get a better haul for Garnett despite his age? DeAndre Jordan‘s a project center, but given the time and a coach that’ll allow him to develop properly he could be of good use. A core of Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Jordan, Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley, that’s better than the Milwaukee Bucks team that made the playoffs last season. Depending on the coach (as long as it’s not Vinny Del Negro) they could be as talented as the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls team, but the latter depends on the health of Rondo and Sully going forward.
But it’s not done. Until the Clippers hire Brian Shaw, Byron Scott or Lionel Hollins don’t expect this to die out. Chris Paul to the Clippers? Those trade talks “died”. Carmelo to the Knicks? Those trade talks “died” also. Take that with a grain of salt.