Clippers coach pours water on past speculation ahead of new NBA season.
New Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers denies he wanted the franchise to trade centre DeAndre Jordan for then Boston veteran Kevin Garnett last June.
Rumors swirled at the time that Garnett might be heading West in a unique player-coach deal that was designed to send Rivers to the Clippers.
Under the proposed plan, Rivers would have signed a new three-year deal with the Clippers, ending his contract with the Celtics three years early, in exchange for Jordan and a future first round draft pick.
However, the deal was nixed as it was against league rules, something Rivers is very happy about now he has got to see Jordan work during LA’s pre-season camp.
“I couldn’t get involved in that whole thing,” Rivers said.
“That was the strangest thing in the world. I was seeing the trade talks and I was saying, ‘Wait a minute! We don’t want to give away that guy!’ We wanted that other guy too. That was the home run to get both.
“[Jordan] is just too young and too gifted to let walk out your door, bottom line. He’s a game changer defensively. He can single-handedly change a game with his defense.
:There’s five guys, and that number maybe too high, that can do that single-handedly with their size and athleticism and he’s one of them. When you have one of those guys, you want to keep them.”
Rivers recently said he believed he had his own “Big Three” in the form of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Jordan, who has taken on the role in the team’s practice sessions as being the on-court leader when it comes to defence.