May 3, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers watches from the sideline as they take on the New York Knicks in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. The New York Knicks defeated the Celtics 88-80. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Boston's Trade Reaches Critical Mass

A storyline that threatened to compete with the crowning of a new champ has finally fulfilled itself. Fulfillment being nothing new for Boston or most Los Angeles fans — except this is the Clippers we’re talking about here.

This means what? Chris Paul is more than likely to stay. The other shoes would seem to be Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce — neither of whom will likely take all this shopping in stride.

So I hope you’re not sick of this story just yet.

Here’s the dope:

The Los Angeles Clippers have reached an agreement in principle to send an unprotected 2015 first-round draft pick to the Boston Celtics for the rights to hire coach Doc Rivers, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Rivers has agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Clippers, league sources said.

Talks started again on Sunday when the Clippers offered the Celtics the first-round pick to freeRivers from his contract with Boston, sources said.

The NBA still needs to grant approval to the deal, but the teams have been led to believe that won’t be a problem, sources said.

The Clippers and Rivers believe Rivers’ arrival will solidify star free agent Chris Paul’s commitment to sign a five-year contract extension in July, sources said.

Rivers told the Clippers that he was no longer interested in the position on Friday, but pressure from Paul stayed strong on Clippers management over the weekend and Los Angeles reconsidered its unwillingness to give Boston a first-round pick, sources said.

Clearly, Rivers’ telling the Clippers he no longer had interest in the job – and the Celtics setting a Friday deadline for a deal – were negotiating postures to leverage the Clippers back with a better offer.

Rivers had gone into the weekend planning to decide his future with the Celtics, and sources said he had been leaning strongly toward returning next season to fulfill the three years and $21 million left on his contract. With the Celtics moving into a rebuilding phase, several sources told Yahoo! Sports that Boston management preferred draft-pick compensation over paying for an elite coach.

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Tags: Boston Celtics Chris Paul Doc Rivers Kevin Garnett Los Angeles Clippers Nba Trade Paul Pierce

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