Due to previous reports and Cassell still being under contract in Washington, it was expected the two teams would work out a deal in which the two teams would swap assets–the Clippers receiving Cassell and the Wizards receiving a heavily-protected future second-round pick in a coaching trade.
But in a post by Michael Lee of the Washington Post confirming Cassell’s departure from Washington, Lee revealed the Wizards front office allowed Cassell to walk freely from his contract instead of demanding compensation from LA.
A reunion with Rivers has been rumored for several weeks, with the Clippers losing assistants Tyronn Lue (to Cleveland) and Alvin Gentry (to Golden State) this offseason. According to people familiar with the situation, Cassell will receive a huge boost in pay but Washington was reluctant to let him leave for what was perceived as a lateral move. A call from Rivers helped convince the organization to let Cassell free.
Coaching trades have become a bit familiar in these last few off-seasons. The Clippers sent the Celtics a 2015 first-round selection for Doc Rivers in the summer of 2013 and the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets made a similar trade centered around Jason Kidd, but instead of a first-round pick, the Bucks sent the Nets a future second-round pick as compensation.
With Kidd only fetching a second-round pick, one that’s likely heavily protected, it’s difficult finding a scenario in which Cassell would be worth the same as he’s had no experience at head coach and the Clippers were seeking to bring Cassell over as an assistant head coach instead of head coach.
Per Lee–and others–the Cassell coaching addition is expected to be announced in the upcoming week.