x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Trade winds can blow hot and cold in NBA

the Celtics are bracing for plenty of lose-lose in the short term, and the draft pick they received from the Clippers cannot be used until 2015. No win-win. A win-draw, at best.

Former Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers talks at a press conference for the Los Angeles Clippers
Former Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers talks at a press conference for the Los Angeles Clippers

The summer's blockbuster NBA trade, so far, involved one party who does not exist and another whose only mention in any box score will come from committing technical fouls.

Huh? Oddly, in US sports, teams can swap commodities other than players. Picks from future drafts, for example, and the LA Clippers have just sent one to the Boston Celtics.

Odder still, the asset can be a coach. So, in return, Boston coughed up their coach, Doc Rivers. Oddness squared, the Clippers got the better of the exchange, even though Rivers will never score a point.

He has this "coaching" thing figured out. The long-suffering Clippers have crept into the fringes of title talk. With Rivers, they could soon dominate the discussion - especially with Chris Paul at point guard.

Trades also should be evaluated by their impact on players not officially included in them. Paul is a free agent. The line of potential suitors includes most of the rest of the league. Those teams are wasting their time. Word is, Paul will stay put in LA with Rivers on board.

Because the Celtics are shedding a massive coach's salary and a guy unenthused about salvaging an aging team, the deal has been categorised as win-win for both sides.

Problem is, the Celtics are bracing for plenty of lose-lose in the short term, and the draft pick they received from the Clippers cannot be used until 2015. No win-win. A win-draw, at best.

In the US, this hardly qualifies as a weird trade. Some minor-league baseball teams have been known to swap coaches for a bag of balls, a few bats or 10 pounds of catfish.

sports@thenational.ae