Will Austin Rivers join Doc on Clippers?

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers are in preliminary discussions with the Boston Celtics to acquire Austin Rivers, according to team sources.

One source with knowledge of the Clippers' thinking told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne that L.A. -- with Doc Rivers serving as coach and team president -- believes it will ultimately acquire Rivers.

Austin Rivers was included in a larger three-team trade Saturday that sent him from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Celtics to help complete Boston's looming Jeff Green trade with the Memphis Grizzlies, league sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

When Doc Rivers was asked about Austin Rivers’ trade to Boston after the Clippers’ 120-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday he joked, “I guess I shouldn’t have sold my condo.”

Rivers is averaging 6.8 points, 2.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds this season in 35 games in which he is averaging 22.1 minutes. Rivers has only started three games this season and seven over the past two seasons. He is shooting just 38.7 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range this season.

New Orleans drafted Austin Rivers with the No. 10 pick in the 2012 draft, which the team had acquired from the Clippers as part of the trade for Chris Paul. Rivers, 22, entered the draft after just one year in college. He would be in the midst of his senior year at Duke now, had he stayed in school.

Austin was born in Santa Monica, California, and lived in Southern California for two years while his father was a player for the Clippers during the 1991-92 season.

In the past, Doc and Austin have stated they would be against being on the same team.

“I'm not a big believer in parents coaching kids," Doc said last season. “I don't think it's a good thing. I coach him when he wants and asks a question, but I kind of stay away from it. His love found the game. It wasn't my love. It's his love of the game, and I think that's very important. Having gone through AAU, I can tell you parents should be parents, and coaches should be coaches."

But when Doc was asked if he would be open to coaching Austin, should the opportunity present itself, he sounded more open to the idea than ever before.

“I would,” Rivers said. “I think a year ago, I probably wouldn't. I think I would, for sure. I think this team could handle that. He's a downhill guard, which is something we need, so I certainly would [be open to coaching him].”

Austin also sounded hesitant to team up, when asked about the possibility before their latest head-to-head meeting, in December 2013.

“I don't want to ruin the relationship,” Austin said at the time. “We have a great relationship. If the situation ever presented itself, I'd roll with it, but I don't think that will ever happen, to be honest with you. He's always going to have his lane, and I'll have mine. We'll wish each other the best of luck until we play each other, and that's how it will always be.”

With Doc’s Clippers in need of some help off the bench and Austin’s career in need of a re-boot, their two lanes might make an unlikely convergence neither expected before this season.