Did you really think that trade talks between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers were dead? As far as I'm concerned, discussions between these two teams will stay alive until the Clippers hire someone not named Doc Rivers to coach their team next season. However, I don't think these two teams would have come running back to each other so quickly had it not been for someone that LAC considers to be the future of their franchise. 

According to Grantland's Bill Simmons, the Clippers were somewhat forced back into talks with the Celtics because of their soon-to-be free agent point guard, Chris Paul. 
As Simmons said in his tweet, the Clippers need to do anything and everything to make Paul happy because if they don't he might not re-sign with the team. CP3 is in a position where he has incredible leverage. If he said, "jump" the Clippers would say, "how high?" Ironically enough, the fact that Chris Paul has leverage over the Clippers means that Danny Ainge has some leverage as well. The reason being that at this point the Clippers need this deal more than the Celtics do. Something like this could be the difference between retaining Paul or watching him walk out the door once July 1st rolls around. Paul has made it very clear to LA that he wants Doc Rivers to be his next head coach and since Paul can't go to Doc, the Clippers have to bring Doc to Chris. 

So how does Chris Paul butting in give Ainge leverage? It's simple really. With knowledge of Paul's demands, Ainge can sort of threaten the Clippers into giving him a deal that he really wants. Whether it be that extra first-round pick that LA wouldn't give to him or a package headlined by Eric Bledsoe, it doesn't matter. Either way, if Danny plays his cards right he'll be able to walk away with more than just Deandre Jordan and one first-round pick. 

What confuses me though is why Ainge wants first-round picks. At first glance it makes sense because the Celtics would have an extra opportunity to get a talented player that will help aid the rebuild. But despite that, if you actually break it down and think about it, these first-round picks aren't going to be huge prizes. If LAC acquires both Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett they will immediately become a title favorite for next year. Assuming the potential "new look" Clippers go deep into the playoffs their first-round picks will undoubtedly be in the bottom third of the round. By then the top tier talent is gone and it lives the Celtics with limited options. It just doesn't make sense to me. If I'm Danny Ainge I shoot for the stars and try to get both Bledsoe and Jordan. As unlikely as that may be, it's worth a shot.

The ball is in Danny Ainge's court, no pun intended, and as of right now it looks like it will be really hard for him to screw this up. But don't count out Danny. After all he did sign Brandon Bass, Jason Terry, and Courtney Lee to ridiculous contracts that pay them a lot more money than they're worth. 

At the very least, Boston's President of Basketball Operation needs to get that extra first-round pick that he was looking for before the Clippers called off the discussions. That would give him Jordan and two future first-rounders to play with. 

As always, stick with Celtics Spot as we will be updating as soon as something major develops.


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