The latest twist in the Doc Rivers saga? Sources told ESPN on Thursday that there is strong mutual interest between Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers if he were to move on from Boston:
The Los Angeles Clippers have not formally requested permission to interview Celtics coach Doc Rivers in the wake of widespread reports about Rivers' potential departure from Boston, but there is strong mutual interest between the parties, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday that Rivers is highly intrigued by the idea of coaching the Clippers in the event that he and the Celtics part company after nine seasons together and one championship in 2008. Sources say that the Clippers, meanwhile, would immediately vault Rivers to the top of their list if he became available as they continue a coaching search that, to this point, has focused on Brian Shaw, Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins.
Earlier Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times, citing several NBA executives, reported that if Rivers decides he doesn't want to coach in Boston anymore, the Clippers would be interested in him and he would become their No. 1 choice.
ESPN.com has also learned that the Celtics and Clippers -- in an offshoot of February's Kevin Garnett-to-L.A. trade talks -- discussed expanded trade scenarios that could have sent both Garnett and close friend Paul Pierce to the Clippers before the league's Feb. 21 trade deadline.
Sources say that those talks, before breaking down, were centered on Boston getting back both prized Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe and young center DeAndre Jordan and did not involve Clippers star forward Blake Griffin.
It is not yet known whether the Clippers intend to revive those trade discussions and pursue either Garnett or Pierce -- or both -- in conjunction with this month's NBA draft. But one source familiar with the Clippers' thinking told ESPN.com that the club plans to be "very aggressive" and "shake every tree" in terms of upgrading the roster this offseason. Acquiring Garnett or Pierce -- or both -- would naturally make Rivers even more of a natural coaching target for the Clippers than he already is.
And a quick note about Rivers and the Celtics from the bottom of that story:
Rivers was originally scheduled to attend Boston's workout Thursday of potential draftees but was delayed after traveling back from a competition committee meeting at the NBA Finals in San Antonio. Sources say Rivers has attended most of Boston's draft workouts while deliberating about his future and has likewise been involved in Boston's free-agent planning as well as visits with veterans Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Jason Terry, who have all been at the Celtics' workout facility rehabbing from injuries.