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With Rivers deal complete, NBA unlikely to approve a subsequent trade involving Kevin Garnett and the Clippers

Jun 23, 2013, 9:31 PM EDT

Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce talk over a play in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks in Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series in New York Reuters

Now that the Celtics and the Clippers have finally reached an agreement that will see Doc Rivers patrolling the sidelines in Los Angeles next season, the questions in Boston now turn to the futures of both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Garnett was originally included as part of the package for Rivers, before commissioner David Stern came out publicly and said that league rules don’t allow trades involving both players and coaches.

But a completely separate deal involving Garnett would be similarly struck down, as well.

From Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston:

League and teams sources also confirmed that for now, any deal involving Garnett and the Clippers is on hold in light of commissioner David Stern’s objections to the appearance that the KG deal (for DeAndre Jordan) and Rivers were related.

One source with knowledge of the NBA’s thinking told that the league does not intend to change its stance as expressed by Stern in multiple radio interviews Thursday, meaning that the league would view any subsequent trade agreement between the Celtics and Clippers involving Garnett to be part of the Rivers deal and thus in violation of league rules.

Ken Berger of also reports that the Rivers deal comes with the understanding that no subsequent deals will be made between the two teams.

Rivers escapes the rebuild in Boston, but Garnett and Pierce won’t be following him to the Clippers. Does that mean they’ll be back with the Celtics next season?

It’s extremely murky at this point.

Garnett has a no-trade clause, and is on the books for two more years at over $11.5 million next season and $12 million in the one that follows. It’s always possible he could choose retirement over playing for a new head coach with a depleted roster, or he could try to force the team to deal him to a more desirable destination.

As for Pierce, he has one year remaining on his contract at over $15 million, but it’s not fully guaranteed. The Celtics can buy him out for $5 million before June 30, shedding his salary from the books in the process.

Of course, another plausible scenario in Boston would involve GM Danny Ainge bringing everyone back for yet another “one more run” at a title, albeit with a new head coach. With Rajon Rondo returning from a torn ACL injury, the Celtics would once again be considered a dangerous and intriguing team in the East.

But by jettisoning Rivers, you have to believe that the brass in Boston feels it’s time to enter a rebuilding phase sooner rather than later. And if that’s the case, then it’s hard to envision Garnett and Pierce returning  to play for the Celtics next season.

  1. ss3walkman - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Just start the rebuilding project already

    • Anoesis - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      Stern: But don’t expect me to approve you trading away any aging superstars for draft picks and/or young players to do that rebuilding. I’m not done punishing you for letting your coach walk. No, I don’t care if he wanted to stay or not. What’s that? You got a draft pick in exchange for letting him go to another team? How’d that happen? Did I approve that? Damn those Clippers! Well, since I gave them Chris Paul I’ll just have to veto any trade they try to make with you. That’ll show both of ya!

  2. kelvinmchale - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Ainge himself could step in and coach the team. With Rondo and Sullinger back, and Pierce, KG, Bass, Jeff Green and Avery Bradley all healthy that’s a decent core. Just need another big and we’re in business.

  3. pantsfreezone - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Come to the Heat, KG. We do reclamation projects and championships.

    • sawick48 - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      absolutely! we’d love to help you guys! all we ask in return is the same thing we got for doc. your unprotected 1st in 2015.

      ya know. 2015. the year youll be a top 5 pick because lebron went home and wades knees exploded 6 months prior. deal?

    • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      Are you familiar with something called the salary cap?

      • pantsfreezone - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:27 PM

        He can have the vet’s minimum. That’s all he’s worth.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:50 PM

        Well yes he COULD have the vetarans minimum but I don’t see him playing for that. He’s also still worth more than that.

  4. packhawk04 - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    The celtics would not be a “dangerous and intriguing” team in the east. Theyd be, best case scenario, a 4 or 5 seed and out in the first or second round.

    • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      So you’re saying that if you’re not a top 3 team in the league there is no point in even trying? You do realize that not every team is the Heat, right?

      • loungefly74 - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        good point. every season…about 6-10 teams have legit shots to win the Finals.

  5. kingjamess7 - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Its all bull!

  6. Anoesis - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    David Stern: Working overtime to seal his legacy as a turd of a commish. That’s quite a bubble you’re living in Dave, do you really need to fill it with farts 24/7?

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:45 AM

      Holy crap, I love your user name. That’s one of my favorite words.

  7. mblue24 - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Should be no reason why he would block a trade between the celtics and clippers. Afterall, the coach is not involved anymore. It’s just players for players and picks trading. Stern should not veto it at all. Let the play ball. Damn.

  8. titansbro - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    David Stern ruined the NBA. Adam “Smithers” Silver will be no different. Basketball is off my sports radar for another 30 years I suppose.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:56 AM

      Ahhhhhahahaha! I’ve been calling Silver “Smithers” for years!! Straight up that exactly who he reminds me of. LOL

  9. fearthehoody - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Nba is fixed! But not for long Stern is out the door and his cronie Joey Crawford soon to follow

    • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      Just because your team doesn’t win the championship it doesn’t mean that the league is fixed. You do know this, right?

  10. dolphindubs - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:43 PM


    Yeah, your team didnt win and the team you probably hate more than any other did so the league is obviously fixed right?

    If your team DID win and the team you hated more than any other didnt, would you still whine that it was fixed?

    • dudermcrbohan - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      there is a reply button by the way.

      Anyway, there are a great many people who do believe it is ‘fixed’ or at least engineered to some extent. And it isn’t just Celtics fans, or fans of the teams who didn’t win (which is everyone but the heat)

      Furthermore, your own logic could be turned around on you. The Heat won, you’re a fan of the Heat, so there’s NO way it could be fixed right?

      When the Celtics won, some Lakers fans probably screamed ‘fix.’ I’m sure back then there were C’s fans claiming no way it could be fixed. So please, spare us the ‘logic’ here. You’ll be on the other end again at some point with everyone else…

    • eventhorizon04 - Jun 23, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      If people want to believe the NBA is fixed, that’s fine.

      But it makes no sense for them to keep watching the games, buying jersey/merchandise, and talking about the NBA online if they believe the games are rigged since site traffic to NBA sites and blogs are used to measure the NBA’s reach and thus how much they can have marketers pay to sponsor the league.

      It reminds me of a friend-of-a-friend of mine who complained that a poker game we were playing was rigged (since one guy in particular kept getting great hands). However, he kept buying in over and over again. At one point, he called us “idiots” for refusing to believe the lucky guy was cheating, and I pointed out that if we’re idiots for not believing he’s cheating, what does that make a guy like him who DOES believe the game is rigged yet keeps betting money?

      He doesn’t talk to me anymore at social gatherings.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:36 AM

        People watch wrestling and reality TV, two things that are also fixed. The NBA, unlike the NHL, NFL or MLB, is more entertainment than sports.

    • gmsingh123 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      If I was a hacker I would figure out a way to give you 50 thumbs down.

  11. garyleee - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    David Stern gets all the credit for the NBA becoming a great league. What a joke. Soooo cocky. The great players are what built this league yet he thinks he’s the best ever. He was always a bad interview when asked tough questions he would bully the person who dared ask a him something controversial about the NBA. Teams should be able to trade whomever they want.

    • jcmeyer10 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:33 AM

      He did a good job monetizing all the star power. Stern is a great business man but that can be at odds with being good for the sport.

  12. sawick48 - Jun 23, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    As a big Cs fan I want the kg for deandre trade to happen. not because I like jordan or think he fits, but I think deandre making 13M a year means our team will be bad…….top 3 in a loaded draft bad.

    but that said, how can the commish block this? no hard evidence to suggest the deals are tied to each other anymore. wheres the presumption of innocence?

    • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      You know, other than the fact they were trying to do it as a package deal to begin with…..

      • sawick48 - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        point being….?

        commish said it cant be deals contingent upon each other because thats against the cba. well if the doc deal has been ok’d obviously any subsequent deal wouldnt be contingent upon it if the league had already stamped its approval on the doc deal.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        Yes, because the Celtics and Clips both promise that this trade was not mad with any future plans to get the rest of the deal done in a completely “separate” manner. I’m sure that will fly if they eventually try the Jordan for Garnett trade again.

  13. jrs1972 - Jun 23, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    wasnt even aware a commissioner could decide which players could go where, figured it was between the two teams. Guess it’s a easy excuse to keep the teams you like good and screw teams you don’t like.

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:52 AM

      You cannot trade a player for a coach in the NBA. Unless you are a fool, it’s pretty clear that’s what the Celtics and Clippers were talking about doing (they tried to hide it with multiple trades but come on). Stern is a lot of things, but not a fool.

      • brutl - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:42 AM

        You can trade picks but not players? Even though picks are really players that just haven’t arrived yet?

      • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        Kurt’s just relaying the agreed upon rules. He’s not making it up to piss you off.

  14. giantssb42champs - Jun 23, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    One more run!

  15. senorpapino - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    I have to disagree. I don’t see how the Celtics will be dangerous in the East next year even with Rondo back. They were .500 with him and the following teams will be better than Boston next year:


    Also, the Nets and Hawks (especially if they can swing Howard, Paul, or both) will be as good, if not better than Boston. While this has been a recurring theme every season, I don’t think there is any way at this point to have a legitimate shot in the East with this roster.

    • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      What makes you think the Heat or Knicks will be better than last year? The Heat will stay the same or maybe take a little dip (still be #1 though by a decent margin). I don’t see the Knicks taking a huge jump. If anything, I see them falling back a little bit.

      • brutl - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:41 AM

        It’s easy to see those teams being better than Boston next year. The teams he mentioned can stay the same or even dip a little, but they’ll still be better than Boston without Rivers at the helm.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        I agree, I also misread what he wrote. I thought he was saying that those teams will be better than last year, not simply better than Boston.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      none of us have any idea. with that said, it’s great to hear everyone’s OPINION…but let’s remember to not pass it off as a “fact”.

      so you think the C’s will be a .500 team? quite possibly so…a lot of “IF’s” right now. depends on who is coaching…will guys like Sullinger (OSU, baby!) and Fab step up big time? Do the Truth and KG stick around? Will their draft picks this year have an immediate impact? Do other teams in their division suffer major setbacks with injuries (ex: how would the Heat look if Lebron tore his ACL? or if Rose tears another ACL, what do the Bulls do?) What if Rondo finds his jumper and becomes the best all-around PG in the league?

      A lot can happen. I think the Celtic’s should go in with the best possible assembled team and compete. With the current squad, that will be enough for a playoff spot and who knows from there…Simple as that.

  16. jrazz22 - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Jun 23, 2013, 7:43 PM PDT

    Yeah, your team didnt win and the team you probably hate more than any other did so the league is obviously fixed right?

    If your team DID win and the team you hated more than any other didnt, would you still whine that it was fixed?
    Funny that you chime in on someone whining. I saw only a single post by you and was able to determine that you’re a typical Heat bandwagoner. Whine and cry when the calls didn’t go your way, gloat and protest how awesome you are when you win. Quite possibly the most pathetic fanbase in professional sports.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:30 AM

      Ask Bill Buckner who the most pathetic fan base in sports is. Ask Keith Foulke. You can even ask Tom Brady while he’s getting booed last year. Ask the guy who poured beer on LeBron after last years Game 6.

      Sorry Sully. Say what you want about Heat fans. Doesn’t matter at all. All that matters is that Championship Parade up Biscayne Boulevard starting in 2.5 hours.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:47 AM

        Do Heat fans also leave early from victory parades?

      • brutl - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        No they’ll wait in traffic for a W

        I heard Danny Green will be there with the other fans.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM

        Say what you want about Boston fans, namely that they’re a bit over the top, but at the very least they have the passion and emotion to do those things. The only thing Miami fans have a passion for is beating traffic and showing up late. Horrible fan base, worst in sports, do not deserve any pro sports franchises. It’ll be sad when the Marlins become a contender again and rather than the 500 fans they usually play in front of there will be 55,000 bandwagoners waiting for their ankles to break when they can jump off at the first sight.

  17. 00maltliquor - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Don’t be a gnikcuf kcid Stern and let those trades go down!!

    I LOVE me some super teams! Even if they are in my conference AND division and could be a roadblock against my Lakers. I love the competition and it makes for an interesting season. I ain’t scurrrred!

  18. mackcarrington - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:05 AM

    Apparently Stern and Roger Goodell must have made a deal to destroy their respective leagues before they both retired. Stern is done in February. Goodell still has 25 more years, but the NFL is as good as ruined now.

    • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      Yes, they’ve destroyed their leagues. The popularity of the NBA and NFL are in the dumps, now surpassed by the MLB in popularity. They’re going bankrupt, nobody goes to their games, watches on TV, or buys merchandise.

      I’m guessing this is how “reality” plays out in the mind of an idiot?

      • mackcarrington - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        No need for the personal insult and lack of respect and the juvenile name-calling. Do you feel smarter calling people names on the internet? it’s just extreme sarcasm. And if you follow the NFL it IS on the WAY to ruin with the fundamental changes that are being made. My point about Stern was, that he has changed the course of basketball history with his vetoing of trades. I can make a point without acting like a middle schooler.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        Oh no, players with concussions have to sit out until they’re cleared and if players use their head as battery rams they get fines. THE SPORT IS RUINED!! I’m not going to watch anymore!! *continues watching NFL as always*

      • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:34 PM

        You do realize he vetoed the original trade because it violated collective bargaining agreement rules, right? Not because he’s a power hungry megalomaniac.

  19. ivanoiurares40 - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    Reblogged this on TheSlashDash.

  20. sportsnut101 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    Just trade him in a month no big deal

    Only people to blame is the clippers n celtics. They released the details of the deals otherwise no1 would know. The leaks come from the gm n the people making the calls

    How hard is it for one gm to call another gm n say let’s make this deal without telling the world in advance not that hard

  21. klownboy - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Doc obviously wanted no part of this rebuild in Boston. Great move by the Clippers though…

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