The Celtics on Thursday continued to amass draft picks and trade exceptions as part of their rebuild, shuttling guard Austin Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers to play for his father, Doc, for a $2.4 million trade exception and a 2017 second-round selection.
The Phoenix Suns were the third team in the deal and sent forward Shavlik Randolph back to Boston, acquired forward Reggie Bullock from the Clippers, and sent guard Chris Douglas-Roberts to the Celtics.
The Celtics had little interest in keeping Rivers, the 10th overall pick in 2012, because of his free agent status this summer. Since acquiring him from the New Orleans Pelicans Monday in the three-team deal that sent Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Celtics were seeking a trade partner for Rivers, and the most natural fit became playing for Doc Rivers, who coached the Celtics from 2004-13.
Austin Rivers was a frequent visitor to Boston when he father coached the Celtics, often playing pickup games with the Big Three as a teenager.
Doc and Austin Rivers become the first father-son, coach-player duo on the same team in NBA history.
The Celtics plan to keep Randolph, who played 16 games with Boston in 2012-13 before being waived in the offseason. Randolph signed a 10-day contract with the Suns in March 2014 and remained with the club this season.
As for Douglas-Roberts, he had played in just 12 games for the Clippers after signing a free agent contract in September. The Celtics are likely to waive the swingman, leaving an open roster spot for potentially more moves.
Tayshaun Prince, like Rivers acquired by the Celtics on Monday, remains on the roster. The team is still discussing buyout options with the 34-year-old but nothing has been finalized.
The Celtics have amassed more than their share of trade exceptions, including $12.9 million in the Rajon Rondo deal, $5 million for sending Brandan Wright to the Suns, and $600,000 in the Jameer Nelson deal to Denver. The Celtics could apply those to future deals.
As for the current roster, there remain trade candidates, including power forward Brandon Bass and swingman Marcus Thornton, who have expiring contracts and would serve as assets for contending teams. Moving both may be difficult because the Celtics do not want long-term contracts in return, but the organization already has executed five trades in the last three weeks.