Point number one...none of us were in the room. Don't care what the media says. We don't know what Ainge and Sterling were offering. "Ainge wants this" and "Ainge offers that" means nothing. What was Ainge offered for first, Rivers and second, Garnett.
We DO know this, Rivers and Garnett were offered to the Clippers. We do know that Ainge asked for the moon which is a fundamental negotiating tactic. With the above established, we now wade into pure, media fed speculation. We used to call it Clap.
On the surface of the Garnett trade component:
The Clippers supposedly won't trade their back up center for a defensive leader (Garnett) who fills a critical vacuum for them. If you watched the Clippers this year, they need a player like Garnett badly. I am not overvaluing here. They play defense like cupcakes, they're the San Diego Chargers, all show and no go. Garnett would change the Clippers and that change would be significant. Losing Jordan would mean little to the Clippers...unless...they think they can get more for Jordan in a different deal. Deandre Jordan is a very tradeable commodity size/talent/contract. I still find it hard to believe they passed on Garnett for a backup center, thus, was this the actual deal? Don't know, but, I simply don't think it was.
Rivers part of deal:
Trading Rivers is a big deal. Coaches aren't traded. This isn't a fantasy league. We "hear" what was offered, but, we don't know the details. Good coaches are available to the Clippers for nothing...zero...free. sure Rivers is a good defensive coach, Hollins isn't?
I will say this, a $7 million a year coach who doesn't want to work here any more? A coach who got knocked out pretty badly in the first round by the Knicks who proceeded to get clocked in the 2nd round? Some GM walks in the door while you are planning to be a rockem sockem 8th seed next year and offers you a pick for your coach who's talking about leaving for a freakin' TV deal? If they offered Ainge a #1 for Rivers and Ainge refused...it's on Ainge. I think it was a #2 and that might explain the "no deal." Why the hell would Sterling give up two first round picks for a coach? It's a superstar league...not a "super coach" league. Jackson would be nothing without MJ and Kobe n-o-t-h-i-n-g.
Thus, I agree with Sterling for refusing to give up too much for Rivers....except for the following.
Ainge is playing a tune here...he is playing the Chris Paul rag. Sterling must keep Paul. Evidently, Paul likes Rivers. Paul and Garnett are also friends. My guess is Ainge is squeezing Sterling on this Chris Paul aspect of the deal.
This is the only factor that explains the cuckoo price for Rivers. Chris Paul wants Rivers and Garnett.
As of today, looks like Ainge prefers leveraging Doc's contract control for whatever, buying out Pierce and having Garnett retire. This leads to a 2014/15 with solid, usable cap space in a good FA market and a struggle with the Raptors for the 8th seed this year and good draft picks in a good draft in 2014. "Two first round picks" for a head coach says one thing and one thing only............."you want to keep Chris Paul? Cough it up."
Ainge is in better shape than Sterling walking away for one reason. Chris Paul has leverage, and Ainge is betting he has a lot of it.