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Doc Rivers says he didn’t want Clippers to trade DeAndre Jordan for Kevin Garnett

Oct 5, 2013, 6:30 PM EST

DeAndre Jordan AP

At one point during the prolonged and somewhat messy divorce between Doc Rivers and the Celtics that resulted in the veteran head coach landing in Los Angeles to coach the Clippers, a “side deal” was in place that would have sent DeAndre Jordan to Boston in exchange for Kevin Garnett.

The league doesn’t allow multi-step trades to go down (i.e., if you make this deal then we’ll make this deal immediately afterward), so it ultimately never came to pass. And Rivers sounds thrilled that it didn’t happen.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

Doc Rivers said he never wanted the Los Angeles Clippers to trade DeAndre Jordan to the Boston Celtics for Kevin Garnett last June when the two teams were working on a deal for the head coach. …

“[Jordan] is just too young and too gifted to let walk out your door, bottom line. He’s a game changer defensively. He can single-handedly change a game with his defense. There’s five guys, and that number maybe too high, that can do that single-handedly with their size and athleticism and he’s one of them. When you have one of those guys, you want to keep them.”

Rivers has praised the Clippers’ 25-year-old center during the team’s training camp in San Diego. He has called Jordan the team’s defensive captain and a candidate for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year this season.

Jordan has underachieved in his five years with the Clippers, most notably last season. He started all 82 games, but only averaged 24.5 minutes because he could never get on the floor during the fourth quarter under Vinny Del Negro.

Part of it was Jordan’s defense, but a bigger issue was his free throw shooting — he somehow shot only 38.6 percent from the stripe, making it easy for opposing defenses to choose to foul him in late-game situations.

Rivers is doing everything from a mental standpoint to prepare Jordan for his expanded role next season, even going as far to try to include Jordan as one of the Clippers’ “Big Three,” along with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The coach is known as being defensive-minded, and has the resume to back up anything he tries with his new team in Los Angeles.

If Jordan is ever going to turn the corner and become a trusted member of the rotation instead of being just a placeholder, the time is now.

  1. kingwithringz - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Doc Rivers knows how to bring out the best in his players. I bet he can make the stars fall from the sky.

  2. antistratfordian - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    He’s saying that now as he needs Jordan to think he believes in him. But Doc is lying half the time, and he’s full of it here too (in this case for a good cause). He was definitely trying to get Garnett in LA.

  3. lakerade - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Boo hiss.

  4. eugenesaxe1 - Oct 5, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    It depends on what the entire trade would have looked like, but I think Doc’s lying through his teeth.

  5. johngalt1783 - Oct 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Methinks the good doctor talks a bit too much.

  6. Daniel Herrick - Oct 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Reblogged this on Sherlock Sport and commented:
    I’d take KG, but that’s just me. Good vote of confidence by Doc for his guy. Jordan has to be better for Clippers to contend.

  7. banggbiskit - Oct 5, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    I agree with the Good Doctor.

  8. losanginsight - Oct 7, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    Deandre Jordan is garbage. He is good if this was rec league ball or YMCA. Who is Doc trying to fool?

  9. skinsfanwill - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    If a guy has been in the league as long a Jordan, he should already have some desire to be better. You can’t teach desire. It’s either in you or it’s not.

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