Danny Ainge first approached Doc Rivers to gauge his interest in the Los Angeles Clippers’ coaching vacancy, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Rivers confirmed an interest in the Clippers, and it was then he learned Ainge had already had preliminary discussions with the Clippers on releasing him from his contract and making him available.

“At that point, this became a situation where both Doc and the Celtics were seeing if they could both get something they wanted out of this,” the source said.

Ainge is looking to accelerate the Celtics’ rebuilding efforts, and wants to maximize the return on all of the team’s assets, Rivers included.