Report: Clippers and Celtics looking for third team to complete Austin Rivers trade

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With the three-team Jeff Green/Tayshaun Prince trade close to being complete, Austin Rivers is reportedly headed to the Celtics. But Saturday night reports have the third-year guard not long for Boston, with the Clippers targeting a trade for Rivers — whose father, Doc, just happens to coach the team.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Clippers and Celtics are looking for a third team to help them facilitate the trade.

The Clippers are about $1.7 million below the hard cap, and Rivers makes $2.4 million, so Los Angeles has to unload at least one player to make this deal work. Involving a third team makes that easier to pull off.

Still, it’s a bizarre move for the Clippers. Putting aside the father-son awkwardness (which actually shouldn’t be that big a deal), Rivers simply does not fit on the Clippers’ roster. Their two biggest needs are a wing who can defend and an upgrade of their backup big men. Rivers is neither of those things — his skillset replicates, at a much lower level, that of Jamal Crawford, who is already a rotation player for the Clippers.

With how close the Clippers are to the hard cap, they essentially have the flexibility to make one move without giving up any of their major pieces. That they would use it on Rivers, who doesn’t fill a need for their roster, just because he’s the coach’s son, is puzzling.