At this point, the Celtics might as well invite the Ringling Brothers into this process, because their talks with the Clippers are already a circus.
Here is what we do know:
• The Clippers still want to do a deal with Boston that would pass muster with the league, something where the Clippers send picks in compensation for the rights to sign Doc Rivers right now. Then in a few weeks they would revisit any Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan trade talks. But that would be totally separate. What could possibly give you the idea they are connected?
• The Celtics called a press conference for noon Eastern on Monday where Doc Rivers and GM Danny Ainge were to address the media (and you don’t really do that if the guy is leaving). But then that presser was abruptly called off and re-scheduled for Monday. That buys the Celtics and Clippers 72 more hours to talk, at least.
All that leaves us with is a ton of questions.
Was the Boston press conference a bluff to force the Clippers back to the table? If so, it worked, apparently.
Are the two sides really any closer to a deal?
Is there a deal the two sides could reach that the league would sign off on, or in three weeks or a month would the league squash a Garnett for Jordan trade?
Is there any way Rivers, Garnett and Paul Pierce could still come back to Boston for one more year? Does Rivers even want to come back?
How badly do the Clippers really want to do a deal? There is a theory among some around the league that the Clippers restarted talks because Chris Paul asked them to and they want to keep him happy so he will re-sign, but they don’t really want to give up this much so they are just going through the motions. People around the Clippers don’t buy that, but it’s out there.
This entire situation is a circus.
I will add this — if this doesn’t come together the teams have nobody to blame but themselves. There have been more leaks around this trade than the Titanic. Because of that it’s been in the media as a connected deal — Rivers, Garnett and Pierce to the Clippers for a variety of different packages headed back East — everyone knows what they were trying to do. Including the league office. If the sides had been quiet and the Clippers traded Jordan and a couple picks for Garnett, then a couple of weeks later Doc Rivers was let go and just ended up in Los Angeles, they might have been fine. But by te time everything had been leaked and there were all these discussions, it was obvious it was all linked.
They shot themselves in the foot on this one.