If you’ve been following the madness that has transpired over the past few days, you know of the blockbuster trade talks that have been going on between the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics.
The Celtics and Clippers have been discussing a deal in which Kevin Garnett would be sent to Los Angeles in exchange for DeAndre Jordan and two 1st round picks. As a part of the deal, the Celtics would also release coach Doc Rivers from his contract.
Rivers still has 3 years left on his 5-year deal and can’t just up and leave Boston due to a no-compete clause in his contract. To make this transaction a reality, the Clippers would have to give Boston some sort of compensation in order for them to release Doc out of his contract.
Technically, however, coaches can’t be traded and the league offices have called both teams in order to sort through the details of this coach for player trade.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports explained the concern Monday:
Under league rules, Rivers can’t officially be traded, but the draft picks are compensation for a release of the coach’s contractual obligations to the Celtics. Garnett and Jordan can be exchanged for each other. In the eyes of the NBA, these have to be executed as two different deals.
Apparently, commissioner David Stern has some concern that the two deals ( Garnett for Jordan and the pick(s) as compensation for Rivers) are dependent upon each other–and therefore illegal by league rules.
In an article posted Thursday, Sam Amick of USA Today transcribed an interivew of Stern on ESPN Radio in New York, in which the commissioner discussed the concerns:
The only consideration that can be done here in player transactions is other players, draft picks, and a very limited amount of cash. But coaches contracts don’t qualify as extra consideration, or acceptable consideration in player transactions. The teams know that. It has been confirmed to them. And…what the rules won’t allow can’t be gotten around by breaking it up into two transactions.
League rules prohibit coaches from being traded for a player, though draft picks or cash considerations may be sent as compensation. The league office isn’t convinced that these two deals are separate from each other, which has brought a halt to the trade.
It would appear both teams want to get this trade done. Los Angeles wants it to appease free agent superstar Chris Paul, in hopes he re-signs, while Boston wants it to help expedite a “rebuilding” phase in the franchise. They’ve both already walked away from the table–and returned– and now they have to try to convince the league that they are abiding by the rules of the CBA.