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Los Angeles Clippers Offseason So Far

The Los Angeles Clippers have been somewhat disappointing since the Chris Paul trade. Despite having two All-Star caliber players in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and a group of solid complimentary pieces, nothing has seemed to come together for this Clippers team who has failed to make any serious advancement in the playoffs so far. The team has only been able to get out of the first round once, which resulted in a sweep by the San Antonio Spurs. The Clippers had no choice but to make some serious roster changes this offseason to add better pieces around Paul and Griffin and the team has done just that.

The first key move the Clippers made in firing their coach and acquiring Doc Rivers was a great way of going about fixing the coaching issue. Doc River's being an experienced coach with championship pedigree immediately improves the Clippers and seemed to be the key factor in Chris Paul signing an extension with the team. Doc should improve the teams overall defensive system and brings a monumental dynamic in terms of commanding respect from his players. Rivers' offensive playbook right off the bat should allow the Clippers to manage the depth which is similar to the type of depth he had on the Boston Celtics and next season you should look for Chris Paul to be able to get the maximum potential out of his teammates running the offense in the 2013-2014 season.

The second deal they made which seems as though it puts them in as early frontrunners in the Western Conference. Trading Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler and getting shooter JJ Redick and Jared Dudley. The Clippers seem to be attacking the holes in their roster aggressively in adding these two players. JJ Redick provides the fundamental need at the shooting guard position for a good efficient off guard who can shoot the basketball and score efficiently and should be a great compliment to Chris Paul. Jared Dudley provides the much needed “3 and D” small forward every championship winning team has had in the last 15 years. Dudley and Redick are also the type of players who should see much improved seasons on the court due to Chris Paul and Doc Rivers being able to put them in much better situations offensively and defensively as they may have been used to with the Suns or Bucks.

The Clippers have acquired a much more traditional starting lineup for a team aiming to win an NBA championship. With the resigning of players like Chauncey Billups, Matt Barnes, and Lamar Odom and the many uses the team should be able to find with the Mid-Level Exception they have yet to use the Clippers are looking at a much better playoff run this upcoming season than the previous disappointments. Once the Clippers can seal a solid playoff position they should be an odds on favorite to reach the Western Conference Finals this upcoming season and possibly win.

Authors Notes and Overview

The Clippers also still seemed to be interested in shopping Deandre Jordan. I don't find such a deal to be as needed as before considering the added spacing with Redick and Dudley as opposed to using Crawford and Butler. Griffin has shown improvements on his jumpshot year in and year out and Doc Rivers had experience with a Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins front court for a long period of time which he was able to work with and achieve two finals appearances. Deandre Jordan could likely acquire a center at the caliber of Anderson Varejao, Omer Asik, or maybe Nikola Pekovic but without assurance that these players will show the same health track record as Jordan who generally doesn't miss games it may be in the best interest of the Clippers to hold on to Jordan for now.

All of this being said, the Clippers seem to have catapulted themselves in the Western Conference two days into free agency. Oklahoma City could likely lose Kevin Martin as teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves look to add depth at the shooting guard position, San Antonio hasn't done much to improve their roster at the moment, and the Lakers are without Kobe for a long time and the Dwight situation seems shaky. Two days into the offseason the league is already seeing some great moves early and it should only get better from here on out.


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