Report: Celtics and Clippers discussing a trade for Austin Rivers

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The main purpose of the three-team trade that’s brewing between the Celtics, Grizzlies and Pelicans is to send Jeff Green to Memphis, without the Grizzlies having to cross over the luxury tax threshold to get him.

But the ancillary players in the deal, and where they may ultimately end up, is also something that’s becoming rather interesting.

Austin Rivers was a late inclusion in the deal from the New Orleans side, but it appears as though Boston, already loaded four-deep at the guard position, is looking to send him elsewhere — even before a trade has officially been finalized. And the Clippers, where Austin’s father Doc is the head coach and president of basketball operations, are reportedly interested.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Boston’s on phones now, trying to find a deal to move on Austin Rivers, league sources tell Yahoo.

Yahoo Sources: Within front office and coaching staff, officials pushing president/coach Doc Rivers to bring his son, Austin, to Clippers.

Austin’s 22, pending free agent. Clips searching for PG depth. Front office/ assistants telling Doc: Forget his last name. This makes sense.

Celtics willing to move A. Rivers for 2nd-round pick. For Clippers, it’s free look at 10th overall pick — who’d only be college senior now.

Celtics and Clippers discussing a deal for Austin Rivers, league sources tell Yahoo, but Boston doesn’t want salary back next season.

The Clippers played an afternoon contest at Staples Center on Saturday, and Doc told reporters he’d be open to bringing in his son.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

Doc said after the game he would be open to coaching his son, Austin.

Doc on coaching Austin: “I would. I think a year ago I probably wouldn’t. I think I would for sure. I think this team could handle that.”

Doc on Austin: “He’s a downhill guard, which is something we need so I certainly would (be open to coaching him).”

Doc Rivers is well-respected in the Clippers locker room, and it’s difficult to see him handling this situation unprofessionally if it were to arise, to the point where it would cause some kind of distraction.

Since losing Darren Collison in free agency last summer, the Clippers are extremely thin at the point guard position. Jordan Farmar is logging the the bulk of the backup minutes there with an average of 14.7 per game, but he’s barely serviceable, and surpassing what he brings to the table wouldn’t be a very high bar for Austin Rivers to reach.

Austin is an unrestricted free agent this summer, which is part of the reason New Orleans is looking to move him after declining his contract option for next season. The Clippers are desperately in need of young and inexpensive talent that the team can develop, which is something we discussed on this week’s podcast. Austin might be good example of that; the fit makes sense, it’s just a matter of whether or not the father-son relationship can be set aside, and the Clippers can do something to bring him on without sending back salary Boston’s way.

Rumor: Patrick Beverley may meet with five teams before Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers want to bring Patrick Beverley back next season, his spark was at the heart of why this team made the playoffs and impressed with their potential.

First, however, the Clippers are going big game hunting for the likes of Kawhi Leonard and/or Kevin Durant (even with the Achilles injury). Beverley isn’t just going to sit around and wait for them, reports longtime NBA reporter Sean Deveney Tweeted.

The Bulls need a point guard and Beverley — a Chicago native — has said he is interested.

The Lakers also are reportedly big game hunting, but Beverley is the kind of guard they could use around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Phoenix and other teams have been mentioned.

Beverley is going to have options, but he loved his time with the Clippers last season, and that means something.

Pelicans reportedly pick up option year on coach Alvin Gentry

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David Griffin, the guy with the hammer in New Orleans, likes Alvin Gentry. They have a relationship that goes back to Phoenix, where Gentry was the coach and Griffin was in the front office (and was eventually GM).

Gentry also has a style of play — he wants to run and be up-tempo. That should fit very well with soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Griffin and the Pelicans want to keep Gentry around, as reported by Malika Andrews of ESPN.

This is another smart, stabilizing move by Griffin. The Pelicans want to build an athletic, fast-paced team and Gentry is the right coach for that style.  Maybe it doesn’t pan out, maybe the Pelicans ultimately need to go another direction with their coach, but right now this seems a good fit.

Report: Utah “frontrunner” to land Mike Conley Jr. if Memphis trades him this week

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Utah feels like it is close — a 50-win team two seasons in a row, an elite defense, an All-NBA center in Rudy Gobert and an elite shot creator in Donovan Michell. They look at the West next season, with a depleted Warriors team, and see an opening.

Yet when Utah fell to Houston 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs this year, it was reminded of what is keeping the team from being truly elite, and another shot creator and shooter is at the top of that list.

Enter Mike Conley Jr. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game last season, shot 36.4 percent from three, and plays strong defense. Conley would be an upgrade over Ricky Rubio at the spot.

The almost All-Star point guard out of Memphis is available via trade. He’s the kind of veteran floor general, shooter, and shot creator Utah could use. The Jazz and Grizzlies talked but couldn’t come to an agreement at the trade deadline, but the sides are talking again and conversations are “intensifying” in the run-up to the NBA Draft Thursday, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Grizzlies are intensifying talks to potentially move franchise cornerstone Mike Conley Jr., league sources told The Athletic. Memphis has been in conversations with the Jazz and Utah is a frontrunner to acquire Conley should the Grizzlies trade the point guard during draft week, league sources said.

What would be in a trade package? Certainly the No. 23 pick in this draft, plus some young players the Grizzlies like (maybe Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neal, and even someone like Jae Crowder. Reports say Derick Favors is not part of the discussion.

While anything can happen the week of the draft — and things change quickly — don’t be surprised if some version of this trade gets done.

Kawhi Leonard wins day with last laugh — his viral laugh — at end of speech

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Kawhi Leonard just won again.

He won his second NBA title leading the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first crown. He earned his second Finals MVP in the process.

Then on Monday he had the last laugh and won the Raptors’ championship parade in Toronto by ending his speech with his laugh, the same one that went viral at the start of the season.

Of course, what Leonard will do on July 1 was a cloud hanging over the parade, Leonard is a free agent this summer. Kyle Lowry at one point started a “five more years” chant during the parade, which is the maximum number of years Toronto can re-sign Leonard for.

Leonard, exactly as we all should have expected, dodged the question, while praising his time in Toronto.

Unfortunately, this was a parade marred by more serious concerns.