Currently in NBA news, the LA Clippers and Boston Celtics are having discussions about the Clippers acquiring the services of Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. The Clippers are attempting to be an instant title contender right now, on paper, for 2014. But is blowing up a young, promising team the right answer for this team and what would it cost them? And how can the Utah Jazz benefit from this?
For starters, Rivers would have to find a way out of his contract with the Celtics, three years left. And then he would have to sign an agreement with the Clippers. You have to assume that the out-clause payment would have to be paid by the Clippers and that they would have to give Rivers a contract worth leaving his current job for. On top of that, the contract that Rivers signed states that he cannot coach a team not named the Celtics until 2016. If he does, the team he signed with now owes the Boston Celtics compensation for signing Rivers. This could be something as simple as cash but could include draft picks, all depending on the language of the contract and Danny Ainge.
Now the Kevin Garnett situation. Garnett has a no-trade clause that he is willing to waive to go to the Clippers under the condition that Doc Rivers is coming. If you want one, you have to take both. In return, the Celtics want Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan. This is the first hiccup for the Clippers. They have been in talks with the Lakers about doing a sign-and-trade for Dwight Howard. The key piece to the sign-and-trade would be Eric Bledsoe. The Clippers want to save Bledsoe for the Lakers trade but the Celtics want him, possibly signalling the end of Rondo’s time in Boston? Also, lets throw in the fact that Dwight and Paul have been talking a lot lately about being on the same team. And one other small fact, the Clippers are willing to part with Blake Griffin to the Lakers.
The final issue is that of Paul Pierce. Pierce will more than likely not be traded in this situation. So why is he included in the discussion? This is due to the fact that the Celtics could pay $5 million and Pierce’s contract is void. This allows Pierce to become a free agent, and with it being the end of his career, you assume he heads to the Clippers with Doc, Kevin, Chris Paul, and possibly Dwight Howard. Remember that Doc Rivers compensation, just assume it is going to start with at least $5 million.
So where do the Jazz fit in all of this? Trades like this aren’t going to be pulled off by just the two teams. Look at the Chris Paul trade to the Clippers and the Dwight Howard trade to the Lakers. It took multiple teams to pull this off. The Jazz, with available cap space, could actually be a team involved in the discussions, but the Jazz need to be stubborn to an extent. If the Dwight Howard sign-and-trade doesn’t go down and Bledsoe does go to Boston, demand for Rajon Rondo. Coming off an ACL injury, we could sign a team friendly deal for a PG for two years and draft one in the draft. This would allow Rondo a slow return and still have depth to play with. To finish it off, I would also ask for Jared Sullinger. He could be a third big behind Kanter and Favors.
But what are your thoughts? I have only highlighted one option where we get Rajon Rondo. Sure his contract would eat up $11-12 million a year but for a guy who has the ability to go triple-double every night and does it consistently you have to consider the deal. What deals would you like to make? Who would you demand in the trade? Very interested in hearing your thoughts.