ESPN: Doc Rivers has interest in coaching the Clippers

ESPN is reporting Doc Rivers has interest in coaching the L.A. Clippers.

Sources told 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.

Rivers has been vaguely linked to the Clippers in crazy trade scenarios and in general as he has been reportedly mulling over whether or not to return to Boston and rebuild and the Clippers are the best team out there looking for a coach, but this is the first time that he has been said to be looking at other coaching opportunities.

In order for Rivers to leave Boston, he would have to be let out of the two remaining years on his contract. While Danny Ainge and Rivers are close and Ainge more than likely would not keep Rivers from leaving if he wants out, Rivers reputation would surely take a hit. He knew he was signing up to a team that would need a rebuild sooner rather than later and for him to bolt when that rebuild looks to be on the horizon looks bad.

The ESPN piece also talked about a potential deal that almost went down before the trade deadline between Boston and L.A. 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 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.

Losing Rivers, Garnett and Pierce to the Clippers this offseason would be hard to swallow, but at least it's not the Lakers.

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Doc Rivers reportedly believes it "may be time for a change" [Update: Clippers asked for permission]