The Los Angeles Clippers are set for another long offseason after yet another heartbreaking exit from the playoffs. There have been murmurs about the team blowing up the squad which includes the Big Three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Doc Rivers, coach and president of basketball operations, isn’t willing to trade his superstars regardless of any trade offers that may come his way. “I like our core and I like our bench, which was really good this year. “I think they all want to come back, and we’re going to make a strong effort to bring all our guys back.
“The good news about the free-agent guys who are opting out on their contracts – as they should, because everyone knows what we can spend and what we can’t spend – I can’t find one who doesn’t want to be here,” said Rivers, few days after the Portland Trailblazers eliminated them from the playoffs.
Clippers: Championship contender?
Prior to the season, many pundits reckoned that the Clippers were a legitimate threat to Golden State Warriors. However, the untimely injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin denied the possibility of an intriguing second round showdown between Warriors and Clippers. Regardless, the Clippers registered a fourth consecutive 50-win season – the first time in franchise history.
Rivers realizes that despite the postseason heartbreaks, his team is positioned to challenge for a championship next season. “We’re close, and we know that. We have a priority of trying to just keep making our team better. Obviously because of the injuries – Blake’s in particular – we literally don’t know what we could have done. Even during the playoffs, he still wasn’t 100 percent.”
Griffin missed 41 games in the regular season with a quad injury before aggravating the same during the Game 3 loss to Portland last week. According to Rivers, teams would find it tough to beat a fully healthy Clippers squad. “I would love to have seen us 100 percent healthy going into the season. And if we hadn’t have won it then (under those circumstances), you would have known exactly what you need to do. So now it’s more guesswork. But I think we have a pretty good idea of what to do.”
Should the Clippers blow up their squad? Many of their fans are yearning for a change.