No it’s not the 1990s. According to Woj, the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards have discussed a possible trade in order for the Clippers to acquire Sam Cassell.
Clippers working on arrangement w/ Wizards to hire Sam Cassell for Doc Rivers‘ coaching staff, but no deal in place yet, sources tell Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 19, 2014
With Kevin Eastman promoted to a front office position, Tyronn Lue the associate head coach in Cleveland, and Alvin Gentry the associate head coach in Golden State, Doc Rivers has a few holes to fill in his coaching staff.
Rivers and Cassell are connected through their days with the Boston Celtics. Waived by the Clippers mid-season, Cassell would continue his NBA career with the Celtics. Averaging 7.6 points and 2.1 assists per game, Cassell would play the reserve role behind Rajon Rondo, helping the Celtics as winners of the 2008 NBA championship.
Following the 2008 season, Cassell would be traded to the Sacramento Kings for a 2015 second-round pick where he’d eventually be waived. Retiring immediately, Cassell would embark on the next stage of his career, joining the Washington Wizards coaching staff under then-head coach Flip Saunders.
“After 15 seasons playing in this league, I have accomplished all that I have dreamed of as a player,” said Cassell on the hiring. “Now the time has come for to me to take my love for the game to the coaching ranks and pass on what I’ve learned. This team is loaded with talent, and it’s a great way for me to start my coaching career.”
Since last season, the trading of NBA coaches has become a fairly common practice. Last summer, the Boston Celtics traded head coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for a first-round draft pick (2017). In early July, the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks made a similar arrangement, swapping Jason Kidd for a second-round draft pick.
Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com explained the stipulations of a coach trade:
a) As long as they accord with all other trade rules (e.g. Stepien rule, cash limits), draft picks and cash are allowed to be traded in this way.
b) Players and draft rights to players are not.
c) The two teams involved in such a trade cannot make another trade between themselves for the earlier of (i) one calendar year of the day the non-playing member of personnel was released from the original contract, or (ii) if the release took place in between two regular seasons, after the final game (including playoffs) of the upcoming seaaon for both teams. This includes, and indeed is primarily about, trades of players.
If the two teams come to an agreement over the swapping of compensation for Sam Cassell, it’ll likely be a second-round draft. The earliest second-round pick the Clippers can trade is in 2017.
The acquisition of Sam Cassell would be the second coaching move the Clippers have made this summer after Doc Rivers added former New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson to the bench.