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Doc Rivers to LA puts damper on Atlanta free agent plans

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Doc Rivers' move from Boston to the Los Angeles likely ends the remote shot that Atlanta had of luring Chris Paul away from the Clippers.

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The on again and off again saga has finally reached its ending it appears. Celtics coach (and former Hawks guard) Doc Rivers is headed to Los Angeles where he is expected to become the new head coach of the Clippers. Los Angeles has agreed to send a reported unconditional 2015 draft pick to the Celtics in exchange for letting Rivers out of his current deal with Boston. Rivers will sign a new deal with the Clippers.

This is significant for the Hawks for a couple of reasons. First and foremost it severely lessons the chance of Chris Paul leaving LA this summer now that he has one of the most respected head coaches in the league. Paul landing in Atlanta was a longshot but Danny Ferry was expected to push hard to sell the prospect of he and Dwight Howard potentially joining forces with the Hawks. In the best of situations it was a longshot but even a longshot is better than no shot at all.

This move doesn't really effect Howard at all and the Hawks will be one of the teams vying for his services when free agency opens. Although it seems the prospects for a team up between Howard and Paul in Atlanta were better than luring the free agent center by himself.