Doc Rivers to leave Celtics, coach Clippers

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Celtics coach Doc Rivers at the Boston Garden, Jan. 11, 2013. (Photo by Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)

Looks like the Los Angeles Clippers have a new coach. Doc Rivers has reportedly been signed to a three-year, $21 million deal.

The Clippers would get a new head coach, paying Rivers the same amount he was owed by his current team, the Boston Celtics. In exchange the Clippers would send the Celtics an unprotected 2015 first-round draft pick.

The deal has reportedly been approved by the NBA.

The talks appeared dead just a couple days ago, after several days of on-again off-again negotiating, and Rivers twice telling the Clippers he wasn’t interested.

The Clippers fired Vinny Del Negro a few weeks ago, and rumors abound that star point guard Chris Paul played a role in his dismissal.

Rivers’ hiring is being viewed as helping the Clippers re-sign Paul, who’ll be an unrestricted free-agent July 1st, and get him to agree to a maximum five-year deal worth $107 million.

The Clippers traded for Paul a year and a half ago, around the time the team’s fortunes started to change. And with their reportedly acquiring the highest-paid coach in the NBA, it seems Clippers owner Donald Sterling is prepping for a championship run.

KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis discussed the deal with Brad Turner, who covers the Clippers for the Los Angeles Times.