Celtics rumors have been flying in the past week as a proposed mega-trade with the Los Angeles Clippers was on, then off, then nearly completed, then dead again, and finally possibly back on.
Reports this weekend indicate that the trade sending Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles was likely off, and it appeared the rest of the trade was dead as well.
The teams were trying to swing a highly unusual trade that would have sent DeAndre Jordan and a couple of draft picks to the Celtics for Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers. The NBA prohibits coaches from being traded, so the teams tried to work a go-around that would have sent draft picks to the Celtics in exchange for releasing Rivers from his three-year, $21 million contract.
But that trade ran into a buzzsaw known as David Stern. The NBA commissioner said late last week that he would veto the Rivers-to-Clippers trade as a clear violation of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Reports said the Clippers were focused first on acquiring Rivers and then trying for Garnett. But David Stern appeared ready to stop that as well.
“I would say that if we know that what the parties really wanted to do is one [trade] and they’re going to break it into two for the purposes of trying to avoid the restrictions that the collective bargaining agreement places on it, we know how to deal with that as well,” Stern told ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd on Thursday.
The Celtics rumors heated up again when the team planned and then abruptly canceled a press conference for Friday afternoon. The conference was re-scheduled again for Monday, with Rivers and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge planning on meeting with the media.
It’s not clear what the team will announce, and sources close to the Celtics say they aren’t quite sure themselves. A league source told ESPNBoston.com that Ainge and Rivers wouldn’t address the team’s future until they knew if the coach was staying or going.
Meanwhile, new Celtics rumors on Saturday indicated that the Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan trade was done as well. The Boston Herald‘s Mark Murphy reported Saturday that the talks for Garnett were “probably dead,” and that the forward appeared likely to remain with the Celtics.
[Kevin Garnett photo via Wikimedia Commons]