June 22, 2013

NBA Notebook: Talks are again off for Celtics, Clippers

From news service reports

BOSTON - The Doc-udrama has taken a new and possibly fatal turn.

A league source said negotiations between the Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers over the release of Doc Rivers from his contract have ended again.

Though there is a slim chance that talks could resume for a third time, both sides appeared to acknowledge Friday that nothing can be gained.

"The Celtics' price (for Rivers) was a first-round pick and the Clippers weren't willing to do that," said the source, who added it remained unclear if the Celtics could have even scored a second-round pick for their coach of the last nine years.

Though the Celtics' cancellation of a press conference Friday was believed to be a reaction to an improved offer from the Clippers, the source said the offer was never sweetened.

The source said earlier in the week that terms were never close between both sides and had not improved Friday.

"The deal is dead," he said. "There's never been a deal, really, and there still isn't. Things have changed at times in (negotiations) but I don't see how that is going to happen now."

The press conference was canceled not because of negotiations but because Rivers needed additional time to ponder his future, which now appears to consist either of a return to the Celtics next season or a decision to walk away for a year or two.

The Celtics, who would hold his rights for the next three years, are determined to receive compensation from any team that wants to sign Rivers.

Ainge and Rivers now plan to address the media Monday.

Asked if this latest twist could force Danny Ainge to bring Rivers, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce back for next season, the source said, "I really don't know about that."

KINGS: Sacramento hired Denver executive Mike Bratz as assistant general manager.

The move reunites Bratz with Pete D'Alessandro, who was introduced as general manager Monday. Bratz spent the past three years working alongside D'Alessandro with the Nuggets, most recently as the director of player personnel.

MIAMI'S GAME 7 win over San Antonio had the second-most viewers for the finals since ABC got the series in 2003.

Miami's 95-88 victory was watched by an average of 26.3 million people. Game 7 between the Lakers and Celtics in 2010 had an audience of 28.2 million.

The series averaged 17.7 million viewers, up 5 percent from last year's Heat-Thunder finals, which went only five games.

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