The NBA has cast doubt on the proposed trade between the Clippers and Boston Celtics because a coach cannot be traded for a player under the collective bargaining agreement, said a person familiar with the talks who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The deal that has been discussed and was close to being completed was Boston sending the rights to Coach Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and two first-round draft picks.
The person said that even if the Clippers and Celtics break the trade into two transactions, the NBA would frown upon that because the Clippers are trying to get Rivers more than anything else.
“They are chasing the Tooth Fairy,” the source said.
The NBA has let the Clippers and Celtics know for “several days” that it was a deal that couldn’t be done as presently put together.
NBA commissioner David Stern addressed the deal Thursday on ESPN’s national syndicated radio show “The Herd with Collin Cowherd.”
Stern agreed on the show that NBA rules prevent trades with “contingencies or side deals attached.”
“I would say that if we know that what the parties really wanted to do is one and they’re going to break into two for 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 said on the show.
The Clippers are trying to make tweaks to the deal, according to NBA executives.
Stern said it was “correct” to say his office said the deal wasn’t legitimate.
“The teams – how shall I say this? – the teams know that,” Stern said.