Doc Rivers to Coach Clippers After Deal With Celtics, ESPN Says

Doc Rivers is set to become the next coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, who agreed to send a first-round draft pick to the Boston Celtics as compensation in the rare swap of an active coach, ESPN reported.

The Celtics agreed to release Rivers from the final three years of his contract and the Clippers will sign him to a three-year, $21 million deal, ESPN said, citing people familiar with the situation it didn’t identify. Rivers has coached the Celtics for the past nine seasons, guiding the team to seven playoff appearances and a National Basketball Association championship after the 2007-08 campaign.

The transaction would require league approval. The last time an active NBA coach was traded to another franchise was in 2007, when the Miami Heat received compensation for letting Stan Van Gundy join the Orlando Magic, ESPN said.

Rivers, 51, would replace Vinny del Negro, who was let go by the Clippers last month after leading the team to 56 wins and a division title for the first time in its 42-year history.

Rivers has a 587-473 record over 14 seasons as an NBA coach with the Celtics and Orlando Magic.

Rivers won a championship in his fourth season in Boston with a team led by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. The Celtics returned to the NBA Finals two years later, yet had their run of five straight division titles end last season when they lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Pierce is 35 and the rebuilding Celtics have the option to buy out his contract for $5 million by June 30. The Celtics have been seeking to trade the 37-year-old Garnett, ESPN said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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