Chris Paul

Doc Rivers is one of only four active coaches who have won an NBA title — with Boston in 2008. His Celtics also reached the Finals in 2010, losing to the Lakers in seven games.

“Of all the coaches that were available, he was the best in my opinion,” All-Star forward Blake Griffin said by phone from a plane bound for Europe. “I’m really excited about this. I haven’t been this excited in a while. It gives us a strong guidance from a coaching staff.”

With Rivers officially on board, the Clippers’ next priority is to re-sign Chris Paul, who will become an unrestricted free agent Monday. They are expected to offer the All-Star point guard a maximum five-year contract worth $107.3 million. Rivers’ hiring almost certainly enhances the team’s chances of retaining Paul.

When the Clippers and Celtics first began negotiations, the proposed deal had Rivers and forward Kevin Garnett coming to L.A. for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and a first-round pick.

But NBA Commissioner David Stern rejected that deal, saying it was illegal under the collective bargaining agreement for a player to be traded for a coach.

Reported by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times