Apr. 15, 2019
The Clippers Conundrum
For years the Clippers have been viewed as unlucky. They have had tons of elite talent on their roster, a great head coach, and an amazing fan base but that can only take a team so far. Unfortunately injuries during the playoffs have plagued this star studded team rendering them helpless against the juggernauts of the Western Conference. Year after year the Clippers make the playoffs behind the Warriors and the Spurs, and year after year NBA fans expect an early departure due to injuries. These guys have had the talent, and one could argue this team was in their prime before the Warriors even thought of a championship run. And now this talent is widely seen as a waste of time. Precious time in which the Clippers could have (and should have) been rebuilding. They had their chance before the Warriors became the top dogs, and they extended that chance until its last breathe.
The 2017 offseason slogan for the Clips seemed to be "out with the old and in with the new" but dealing Chris Paul to the Rockets is only a fraction of that rebuilding process. But with the re-signing of Blake Griffin, and the acquisition of Danilo Gallinari (via a three team sign and trade deal with Denver and Atlanta) are the Clippers even making an attempt at rebuilding? With the way the west is looking, teams such as the Clippers shouldn't even be thinking of a championship run within the next three seasons. Like it or not the Warriors are a championship team for the next three-four seasons, and teams need to plan for the Warriors inevitable expiration date. Handing out $34.6 million per year to Blake Griffin for the next five years is only going to limit the talent LA could be acquiring from upcoming free agencies. That young talent from free agency could be essential for the Clips if they're dreaming of a title in the next 10 years, and keeping Blake on the roster (for a ridiculous amount only for him to get injured in the postseason) is hurting the Clips in the long run.
The Warriors are the team to beat but they won't be forever. The Clippers need to plan their roster at least three years ahead and realize that the talent they have now won't propel them to a title, even if the Warriors lose one of their Big Four. This offseason would've been the perfect opportunity to start a rebuild that would put them at a high level of talent right at the time the Warriors would slow down. Trading Chris Paul for a ton of assets was a smart move; however using those assets to trade for Danilo Gallinari was not a smart move. The Clippers need to be in an ideal spot for when the Warriors take a step back, and right now it's not looking good. Clippers are sinking into NBA purgatory and there is no way out besides a complete roster overhaul. In doing so clearing cap space, making room for younger talent, and getting rid of players that were of no benefit to the team. Only time will tell, and the Clippers have what it takes to be a championship team once the Warriors slow down, but as we all know the Clippers aren't the luckiest ones out there.