Almost a week after their embarrassing elimination from the NBA Playoffs, it’s time to start shifting our focus on what’s next for the LA Clippers. After a lackluster season that ended in undeniable disappointment, the franchise’s leadership will need to decide what course of action is necessary to avoid a repeat of this disastrous campaign next year.

As we get primed for breaking down the Clippers’ roster, options, and potential targets over the next few weeks, let’s take a broad look at what’s next for the LA Clippers.

What are the rules?

One of the trickiest aspects for front offices navigating the offseason in the COVID era is the lack of details about what’s to come. The NBA Draft has been postponed until November 18th, over a month after the Finals will conclude, and the league has yet to confirm when free agency will open.

The league also hasn’t confirmed when next season will start–and reports indicate it could be as early as Christmas or as late as March. And with a massive revenue shortfall coming as a result of the pandemic (even with the league able to salvage and televise the playoffs, not having gate revenue for a quarter of the regular season and entire postseason puts a massive dent in the books). The NBA has yet to officially decide how to handle that, but to avoid the cap plummeting and causing bizarre unintended consequences (like what happened when the cap spiked in 2016 and the Warriors were able to add Kevin Durant in free agency), it’s possible that they hold the cap flat or stick with the projections for next season.

In the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement with the players, the league and players split basketball-related income roughly 50-50–so the league could keep each team’s cap sheet constant while actually paying players less than their reported salary to maintain that balance. This approach spreads the losses instead of producing a wacky and uneven market. But until we know what plan the league is going to go with, it’s hard to predict what options the Clippers will have available to improve their roster.

Here’s what we know: the team will have the 57th overall pick, some cash to spend to buy another pick, bird rights on and Montrezl Harrell (and JaMychal Green, if he declines his $5M player option), and non-bird rights on Marcus Morris, Patrick Patterson, and Reggie Jackson. In free agency, they’ll be able to add at least one player via an exception, though we won’t know if it’s the full mid-level exception or taxpayer mid-level exception–or how much each exception is worth–until we know where the cap is going to be set at.

Upgrading the roster

With limited tools available to them to add players, it’s important that the Clippers keep their positive contributors–that means that Marcus Morris and JaMychal Green need to be brought back. In order for the Clippers to focus on adding another center who can contribute in the post-season and finding a distribution-minded point guard, they can’t afford to also be replacing one (or both) of their power forwards.

Keeping Harrell should be a non-starter, though a sign-and-trade–while unlikely–could help the team net a return of some kind. The possibility of such a move is dependent on which team Harrell agrees to terms with and whether or not they need the Clippers’ help to facilitate the transaction. Patrick Patterson and Reggie Jackson are both options to return if they accept cheap deals, though Patterson is a good option to provide depth on the roster as a pick-and-pop PF while Jackson is a poor fit with LAC’s primary backup guards, Lou Williams and Landry Shamet.

On the fringes, the team will probably end up waiving or trading Joakim Noah’s non-guaranteed deal for next year, keeping Amir Coffey on a two-way contract, and replacing Johnathan Motley (who is out of two-way eligibility) in the other two-way spot. LA will pick 57th in November’s draft, and could also purchase a pick to add another rookie (the team could keep a prospect in Europe or give them the remaining two-way contract to save a roster space, but there are luxury tax benefits to having the cheap rookie minimum deal of one of your own draftees on the roster).

After that, we get to the team’s two big needs: point guard and center.

Hunting for a guard upgrade

Of the two vacancies, guard is absolutely the hardest to figure out. It’s no secret that the Clippers were in need of guard depth all of last season, as Patrick Beverley’s inconsistent availability in the starting lineup and Lou Williams’ score-first mindset on the second unit left the team cycling through lackluster options, ultimately settling on Reggie Jackson.

The tricky part is finding a guard who is capable of starting in place of Beverley when he’s out and playing alongside Williams and Shamet–both poor and undersized defenders–on the second unit when Beverley is healthy. Jackson wasn’t great at either, to the point that Shamet started over him at point guard when Beverley was injured in the playoffs and Reggie found himself out of the rotation when Pat was back healthy.

Is there a guy out there who is a good enough distributor to start at point guard when Pat is hurt and a good enough defender to make a lineup that features Williams at the 2 and Shamet at the 3 serviceable on that end? Sure, there’s at least a couple, but their names are Ben Simmons and LeBron James–not exactly MLE guys. If the Clippers sign one of the available veteran point guards on the market, like Jeff Teague, he wouldn’t be able to coexist with Williams, and Lou is simply better than he is.

If the Clippers want to get a new point guard who will do more ball-handling, it’s hard to see it working out unless at least one of their current backcourt trio is sent out this summer via trade. While Beverley, Williams, and Shamet are all flawed in their own ways, they’re also all quite good. Making a change for the sake of making a change means risking a downgrade (like getting rid of Lou for the aforementioned Teague scenario). While LAC could certainly use another distributor, internal improvement could also help the team create easier looks. Another guard would help, but not solve, the team’s offensive stagnation. They also need a more sophisticated offensive system with off-ball actions that keep defenses engaged.

If a clear upgrade at guard–like free agent Goran Dragic, or potential trade targets Jrue Holiday or Ricky Rubio–becomes available, the Clippers should go for it, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of overlap between “available guards” and “guys that are a clear upgrade over what the Clippers have.” Their best bet might be to look for an emergency point guard who won’t be a normal rotation piece (think Derrick Walton Jr from last season), play a second unit that features the Williams-Shamet backcourt with a defensive wing (good thing Rodney McGruder is already on the roster), and hope for internal improvement from Shamet and Terance Mann.

(Almost) any center will do

The more gaping hole in the Clippers’ lineup is at center. While Ivica Zubac had a strong playoffs and figures to keep improving, the team was unable to find even passable minutes from anyone else when Zubac was sitting during the postseason. The team had a +17.7 net rating in Zu’s 320 playoff minutes, but fell to -8.3 in the 309 minutes he sat, a staggering differential.

If the Clippers are serious about doing better in the playoffs next year, they need to replace the guy who had the largest negative impact of any player on the team in both the 2019 playoffs and the 2020 playoffs: Montrezl Harrell. There are a bunch of guys on the free agent market who would be better, and frankly it’s hard to imagine who could be worse. The trick for LAC will be making up for Harrell’s regular-season production, where his volume scoring helped LA stay afloat through an injury-ridden year. Hopefully, a combination of improved availability for Paul George, a full season of Marcus Morris (remember, Morris 19.6 points on 44/44/82 splits for the Knicks last season), improvements from Shamet and Zubac, and contributions from new additions will combine to fill that void.

I’d look for the Clippers to target guys like Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, Tristan Thompson, Aron Baynes, and Nerlens Noel in free agency.

Re-signing Harrell shouldn’t be in consideration for LAC. While they have his bird rights and could hope to keep him at a good price and trade him later, they need to get a new guy into a role splitting minutes with Zubac, and a sign-now, trade-later plan for Trez would require playing him his normal minutes in the meantime and hoping a deal materializes down the line. It’s not a risk the Clippers can afford.

A sign-and-trade, however, would be attractive for the Clippers, as it would see them net at least some return in a summer where they otherwise will have trouble acquiring players. But such a deal is hard to work in the modern NBA unless the team looking to sign Harrell didn’t have the cap space to do it without the Clippers’ help, and the base-year compensation rule would make trade match highly difficult if Trez is given a big raise.

Improving the team

Beyond improving the roster, the Clippers’ primary focus between now and the 2021 Playoffs needs to be improving the team. Not adding talent on paper, but improving the product on the court.

Watching the Conference Finals, particularly the East series between Boston and Miami, makes it clear that the Clippers simply never clicked in the way necessary to compete for a championship. These teams fly around defensively in a precise scheme with tight rotations. The Clippers, while talented, were disorganized defensively and never seemed to know what one another was going to do. These other teams play disciplined offense, moving constantly off the ball to create easy looks. Their execution is matched only by the stellar defense they’re up against. The Clippers normally just let their stars take turns running isolation while the other 4 players stood still and watched, allowing the defense to hone in on the ball.

Beyond scheme, these Clippers had a mindset problem. While Leonard’s load management doesn’t deserve challenging (he’s got a degenerative injury and this is what’s needed to keep him healthy), the team’s casual approach to playing good basketball on a nightly basis does. Whenever the Clippers lost in the regular season, it didn’t matter because they were just going through the motions until the playoffs. When poor rotations cost them two games against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, it wasn’t concerning because the team was talented enough to advance without too much trouble. When they blew a huge lead in game 5 against Denver, the team was so unconcerned that they ran out the same exact gameplan in game 6 and blew another huge lead in the same exact way. What did Paul George say after that game 6 loss? “We’re still in the driver’s seat.” What did he say after the team was eliminated in game 7? That it was never a “championship or bust” season. Somewhere along the way, this team decided failure was acceptable, and as a result they were never driven to the level of intensity required to avoid it.

All of these are reasons to fire head coach Doc Rivers, the man ultimately responsible for the team’s rotations, offensive and defensive schemes, and identity. He failed majorly on all four counts. Even with the lackluster mindset and lack of cohesion on both ends of the floor, the Clippers were still talented enough to make the Western Conference Finals had Rivers gone away from Montrezl Harrell in the playoffs when his struggles were clearly and repeatedly costing the team games–but his stubbornness cost them.

With Rivers expected to return due to (among other reasons) his good relationship with star Kawhi Leonard, whose contract expires at the end of next season, the answer is that instead of finding someone else to do these things, the Clippers will need to find a way to do them with who they’ve got. That means a better coaching job from Rivers to follow what was likely his poorest performance since coming to Los Angeles, increased leadership and accountability up and down the roster, and fine-tuning the rest of the staff.

Finalizing a staff

That leads us to our last point. While Rivers is likely to stay on the Clippers’ bench, his lead assistant, Tyronn Lue, seems almost certain to land one of the high-profile head coach openings around the league, perhaps in Philadelphia or Houston. Another assistant, Sam Cassell, has been named as a candidate in some searches, but he appears likely to stay put while Lue is almost certainly on his way out of LA.

To replace Lue, the team could look to former assistant Alvin Gentry, who was recently fired as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. When Gentry was the Clippers’ lead assistant in 2013-14, he designed the system that was the most efficient offense in the league both that season and the next year, after he left the team. After leaving the Clippers, he became the lead assistant for the Golden State Warriors under new head coach Steve Kerr. We all know how that went.

With over 1100 games as a head coach in the NBA and that track record assisting Rivers and winning with Golden State, it would appear that Gentry would be an ideal candidate to bring more championship experience and a breath of fresh air into LAC’s locker room and offensive scheme.

Lucas Hann

Lucas Hann

Lucas has covered the Clippers since 2011, and has been credentialed by the team since 2014. He co-founded 213Hoops with Robert Flom in January 2020.  He is a graduate of Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA and St. John's University in Queens, NY.  He earned his MA in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University.

76 Comments

  • davidanagy davidanagy says:

    Fantastic article, Lucas. Two questions that I invite anyone to answer:

    1) The easy excuse for the absence of any sort of offensive or defensive scheme is that this team had little continuity and players were constantly injured throughout the season. Boston and Miami were both able to slot their new star into their preexisting system; Denver mostly ran back their same team from last year; and the Lakers have LeBron, who’s basically a system by himself. know teams in similar circumstances had similar issues (e.g. the 2011 Heat, the 2008 Celtics). How much merit do you think this excuse has?

    2) The mindset problem you describe is far more baffling to me, since it’s the precise opposite of the team’s attitude from last year–and I can’t imagine it was just the loss of Gallo and Shai that changed things. Do you think Kawhi’s “the regular season is 82 practice games” attitude rubbed off on the team in the worst way possible? (I know teams tend to take on the personality of their best player.) Did they just let all the hype get to their heads, and never took Denver seriously even as they got their ass kicked in three consecutive games? I know we can never do anything more than guess from our positions on the outside, but maybe the FO’s moves will demonstrate what they believe the problem(s) to be.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      1. I realize that the team never really had much continuity thanks to injuries, midseason signings, and trades, but frankly none of those are valid excuses/explanations for the team’s lackadaisical attitude towards losses and the lack of any semblance of an offensive scheme. Even if we assume the Clips had the least continuity of all the major contenders, roster adjustments are something *every team* has to deal with. The Celtics are perpetually working around Gordon Hayward’s injuries, the Heat traded for Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, and the Nuggets traded away Willy Hernangomez and Malik Beasley. Hell, even the Lakers are playing w/o their “perimeter stopper” in Avery Bradley (I said it before the restart, and I’ll say it again – they’re better w/o him), and yet all of these teams are still playing at a high level and look to have cohesive offensive/defensive philosophies.

      2. At this point, even if I were to look at this in a light most favorable to Doc and say that he’s been doing a fine job with x’s and o’s (which…no, no he hasn’t), it’s pretty damn obvious that the team just needs a new voice in that locker room. Doc shouldn’t be brought back because it’s clear that whatever his message/motivational tactics were, they were no longer resonating with the guys. Whatever he told the guys during halftimes of games 5-7 basically turned them off so much that they just stopped playing – the missed shots are on the players, but the abhorrent lack of effort is on the coach. Also, I gotta think that the way Doc hands out minutes affects guys’ attitudes – Frank Vogel (re: the Lakers’ 2nd choice for coach behind Ty Lue) got Dwight Howard of all people to happily accept a benching against the Rockets, and Doc can’t even bench Trez for a few games and/or in particular situations?

      On a tangential note re: attitude, it doesn’t help that our 2nd best player is constantly making excuses for losses instead of owning up to anything. Seriously, I think PG13 would really benefit from seeing a sports psychologist this offseason – he’s got all the talent in the world, but he needs to get his head screwed on properly.

  • Scriabin Scriabin says:

    It’s unthinkable that Glenn (he doesn’t deserve the Doc nickname anymore) could be kept after this. Two 3-1 leads blown in the second round when he had the better team. Infighting and immaturity has been a hallmark of his teams during his Clippers tenure. He’s had surefire HOF players on his rosters and he still can’t get it done.

    No other coach on no other team in the NBA would survive a run of disappointment like this. Why does Glenn get to do it? Is Ballmer just afraid to make the move? Is it because of his pathos when he speaks about social issues?

    It’s been almost a decade of failure with him. It’s time to move on.

    • Avatar John Maclean says:

      I kind of lost it a few weeks ago and trashed Doc pretty badly so I will try to preserve decorum now. I don’t know that a different coach would have made the difference in winning a championship but I do think the aggregate pattern of these second round disasters cannot be ignored. There’s just something whimsical and permissive about Doc that has precipitated our shitting the bed under pressure. Paper leadership. It was Danny Ainge and Red Aurbach who assembled that Celtics team of Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul pierce., Rondo, Perkins etc and I’m pretty sure most all of us could have coached that team to a title. Doc is a charismatic extrovert with very little introspective coaching IQ. BTW, we also need a true floor general and another center.

  • Avatar Jinston Chung says:

    Agreed on all points except the need at point. With a proper offensive system, there is no need for a facilitator at the 1. Beverly still fits if he’s healthy. Lou still fits as scoring off the bench. What’s needed is another healthier Pat Bev. The starters have Kawhi and PG to be facilitators. The bench has Lou. What both need are a 3&D at the 1. The bench also needs 3&D at the 3, but that can partially be filled staggering Kawhi and PG.

    What’s desperately needed is cohesiveness on the defensive end and a proper offensive system. Triangle, Pop’s offense, Gentry’s offense, whatever… we need SOMETHING to get spacing, open shots, and ESPECIALLY looks at the rim. Kawhi, PG, and Lou are too good to have so few free throw attempts.

  • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

    Nothing the front office does will make any difference at all as long as Doc’s still here.

  • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

    Ideally get a pick or a player for Trezz but either way he’s addition by subtraction.

    As you point, Lucas, (and everyone else on here), the biggest issue is Doc. Get rid of him and you really could run it back with some moves around the edges. The team isn’t as bad as the past week has felt. For all the needed adjustments, if Doc just doesn’t play Trezz in games 5 and 6 we just finished game 3 vs Lakers in WCF. it’s that simple.

  • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

    Also this is small but please god when do we get a rebrand? And no more 90s tattoo jerseys kthx.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      I’m hoping we get one whenever the new arena opens, but I doubt we’ll get anything before then.

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      Fastest way to re-brand is win a ‘chip. Changing our name/logo now would just reinforce the loser perception. We would be a team that couldn’t even handle being itself.

      • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

        I don’t know if it’s that complicated. That logo has sucked since it was unveiled.

  • teddy green teddy green says:

    First post on this 213 Hoops, and i must say that this is a very impressive site. It was also nice free agency primer by Lucas. I do like the idea of sign and trading Trez (I think the Mavs who have an extra point guard in Delon Wright and Maxi Kleber as a good possible trade destination) and trading Bev (Tom Haberstroh suggested trading Bev to the Warriors for their TPE and some second round picks) According to RealGM picks owed, the Warriors have five future additional second rounds picks. The Clippers could ask for all of those and a young cheap player. There are also rumors of trading Lou to the Sixers. If the Sixers are willing to move Josh Richardson, then the Clippers should definitely consider it. It’s weird since the trio of Pev, Pat, and Trez were the heart of the Clippers, but going forward, it may be best for all parties involved to move on. Count me in on resigning Morris (I hope he doesn’t screw the Clippers over ala Jeff Green) and JaMychal Green and hiring Alvin Gentry

  • Avatar Morty CA says:

    Here’s a list of attainable free agents (in no order):

    Guards:
    Jerian Grant
    Tyler Johnson
    Trey Burke (pretty much a mini version of Lou)
    Emmanul Mudiay
    Raul Neto
    Shabazz Napier
    Michael Carter-Williams (6’5 guard, can rebound, assist and defend)
    DJ Augustin (short for a PG but can control the floor)
    Brandon Knight

    Centers:
    Willy Hernangomez
    Jahlil Okafor (I’d take a chance on a former first rounder)
    Ante Zizic
    Noah Vonleh (More of a PF but can defend Cs)
    Nerlens Noel
    Kyle O’Quinn (Reminds me of a PJ Tucker, does all the dirty work down low)
    Alex Len
    Aron Baynes (Can defend, rebound and stretch the floor!)
    Meyers Leonard (Stretch 5)
    Ian Mahinmi
    Bismack Biyombo (Rebounder and a great defender)
    Marc Gasol (Vocal leader/great locker room guy, his O/D has disappeared but he’s a big body)

    • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

      I’d lke MCW because of his size. I would also like Marc Gasol as he would only need to play 15-20 minutes a night. He’s getting up there in age, but I think his passing and ability to shoot from 3 helps to prevent offensive stagnation. If not, I’d take Nerlens Noel as he’s young and very mobile. He’s a skinnier version of prime DJ and can provide vertical spacing.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      Out of those lists I think my top signings would be MCW and Baynes

    • Avatar osamu6238 says:

      DJ Augustin would be awesome, but I doubt the Clips can get him.

      Would love to have Marc if nothing else than as a mentor to Zu. He’s pretty much the perfect outcome of a finished product for Zu, and I think working with him would be great for Zu. Unfortunately I’m not sure what he has left in the tank, and I feel like another team is going to pay him more than the Clips can afford.

      I’m really curious what Trez will bring on the open market. If you can keep him for under $20M annually, or for a big one year deal…. I think you bring him back and try and move him later. He’s still a very productive regular season player.

    • Avatar osamu6238 says:

      Jahlil Okafor also has played great in limited time the last few years. He’s one of the few post players which is a dying breed, but for like a near minimum deal, I definitely would think it still has a place in the league.

      • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

        Jahlil has always been decently productive offensively, but he’s not as skilled of a scorer as Trez and has always been ragged on for his defense. I’d be comfortable (but not excited) with him as a minimum third-string guy, but not as our backup. At 24, it’s probably in his best interest to find a team that will actually give him some minutes.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Step 1: TALK TO KAWHI
    Mostly about how he feels about Doc (i.e. “If Doc’s gone I’m gone,” “If you keep Doc I’m gone,” or somewhere inbetween), but also to gauge how he feels about the rest of the guys on the team (*cough PG13, Trez, Lou, Bev cough cough*). I realize this sounds like “pandering” to Kawhi and that’s how we wound up w/ PG13 and an empty cupboard of future assets, but when you have a top 5 NBA player (and yes, he IS still this, despite the egg he laid in game 7), you don’t make major shakeups w/o at least consulting your best player.

    Step 2: Address coaching issues
    We’ve discussed this at length, so I’ll try to keep this relatively short. As long as Kawhi isn’t in the “I only want to play for Doc” camp, then a search for a new coach should begin immediately, and it should be completely wide-open. It doesn’t matter if they’re a retread, an unheralded assistant, a college coach, whatever – we have one year left of guaranteed Kawhi, and we can’t waste it on someone who has proven that they can’t get the best out of this roster. See if Doc is willing to retire, or accept a “promotion” to like “Executive Diversity Officer” or “Senior Personnel Relations” or something. If he’s not, see if there’s another sucker-…team, out there who thinks they need an established brand-name coach, and trade him there (hello, Pelicans and Pacers). If that fails, thank him profusely for his service, promise him that he’ll be honored at some point in the distant future, and then bid him farewell.

    Step 3: Look at ways of improving the bench/role-players
    Trez is the only guy on this roster who I’d be fine w/ just straight up letting walk (of course a SnT would be preferable, but if that can’t be worked out, then the Clips should let him leave anyways…especially if Doc stays) – he’s supposed to be the Clips’ “energy/hustle” guy, but both of those were noticeably absent in the playoffs, when we needed them most. His physical limitations (re: height/weight) are unavoidable and none of us should fault him for those, but his lack of effort (particularly on defense and boxing out) in the restart was inexcusable. For the rest of the frontcourt, as Lucas said, the FO needs to prioritize re-signing JMG (if he opts out) and MM, and then see if there are any deals out there that could bring back a backup PF/C (Gasol? Ibaka? Noel?) who wouldn’t immediately cause the team to implode when Zu needs a breather. For the backcourt, even at their best, Lou/Shamet were offensive dynamos who couldn’t really play defense – I think the team would benefit from sacrificing a bit of offense (i.e. ship out one or both of those guys) if it meant that whoever we got back was actually capable of playing meaningful minutes in the playoffs. Also it pains me to say this, but I think Bev is in the same group of “guys who I’m willing to deal if it means the team/rotations become more balanced” – dude is great on defense (when he isn’t stupidly fouling every 5 sec), but is inconsistent on offense, and has injury issues that pop up pretty often. Basically, Bev/Lou/Shamet are all valuable guys who absolutely could contribute to a contender, but not necessarily on the SAME contender (re: too many specialized tools resulting in too many gaping weaknesses), and so I look at them as guys who the team should be willing to part w/ if they can find a better fit. Ultimately though, this all hinges on Step 2 being completed, because a different, more creative coach may have ways of utilizing these guys and/or hiding their weaknesses better than we’ve seen so far. That is, just because none of US can imagine how a Lou/Shamet backcourt could possibly survive defensively doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s impossible.

    We all justifiably celebrated last offseason’s haul, but this offseason is gonna need our FO to step up their game even more. We’ve been wallowing in sadness for a week now – let’s get back to it, Clippers fans.

    • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

      Never liked Arash and always thought he came across as arrogant when he was on 710 ESPN. I’m not surprised

    • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

      Plagiarism, including self-plagiarism (reusing one’s own writing), is stupid, unethical, and grounds for firing. Markazi reportedly “resigned.” The El Segundo Times is a shadow of the great newspaper it was in the past.

  • Avatar sjake says:

    Great article Lucas. I agree with most of the folks here that Doc needs to go. Sometimes you need change for the sake of change. I think this is one of those times. The loss of the Denver series felt tremendous. The Clips are going to have a heavy burden (no matter what nonsense PG13 says) next year with expectations and the media/haters reminding them about the Clippers history. They are going to have to win a championship or get beat in an epic battle during finals in which they play awesome in order to get rid of this stink.

    I would go back and get the guy they traded to the Knicks. Forgot his name, but I thought he played really well for this team and fit in nicely. I would also find a guy who can freaking run an offense when you need to generate good looks. My lord the offense broke down during those Denver games and we made terrible decisions with the ball. You need a guy who will control those situations and make sure the team is at least getting good shots. I suppose that is on Doc for not putting in some kind of system that players can lean on to get them out of a rut. Don’t need a big name pg. Scour the G league. You will find someone who can step into that role.

    Also agree that Trez has to go. Man, that was a rough playoffs for him and probably cost him $10 – 20 million. Seems like such a good dude which makes it all the worse. He flat out got exposed. I thought Aaron Baynes would fit great on the Clips. This team gave up way too many offensive rebounds unless Zubaca was in there. Get someone else who can get a defensive rebound when you absolutely have to have it.

    This team doesn’t need a ton of personnel changes. The Nuggets shot the lights out in those 4th quarters and the Clips couldn’t make a shot to save their lives. This will be a very good team next year. I’m hoping they come back humble. stay very quiet and just play basketball without complaining. PG13…YOU ARE ON THE CLOCK.

  • Avatar osamu6238 says:

    I’m not expecting big changes at all. 2020 is a crazy year, and I feel like there will be a lot of “run it back” mentality with some changes around the fringes. I really hope they can bring in one big piece (ie. Gasol, Ibaka), but pretty much get the band back together (including Trez). I’m not so quick to consider Trez’s departure as addition by subtraction. He was bad in the bubble, but he had a lot of things going on. He is a one dimensional scorer, and mediocre defender, but I’m not sure anyone will be available with the MLE that will be an upgrade at that spot. And with this team with minimal assets (especially draft capital), Trez on a decent deal could be one of their moveable pieces. Will be a narrow road to cross as they’d have to be careful not to give him a contract that becomes on albatross, but given the limited teams with money, and the uncertainty regarding future earnings possibly without fans, it will be interesting if another team makes him much of an offer.

    I do also hope they shop LouWill, as I felt all season, he was the hardest piece to adjust to playing with stars. It’s probably a little counter intuitive, given he’s the all time sixth man, that you’d think would be the perfect compliment to a team with stars. But it was his role as a closer, which made for a very awkward fit. Unfortunately, I don’t think you’d get much for Lou. Given the discount he took to stay with the Clips and his threat to retire even the last time he got traded, I don’t think trading him is really in the cards for the Clips.

    I’m also not even sure they’ll replace Lue on the bench. He was brought in late after his deal with the Lakers fell through, but don’t think he was really replacing someone. They also brought in Kawhi’s guy in Castleberry to be on the bench. While I would love like Gentry back on the bench, or maybe like a McMillan to shore up the defense, or a guy that always gets praised by other coaches, Dave Joerger, I’m just worried even if Lue gets a job somewhere, the Clips will just run it back with the guys they have.

    I definitely think they need a shake up on their defense, which by their personnel, should be elite, but always seemed barely better than mediocre on a night to night basis. I thought Kalamian was brought on as the defensive coach, and if that’s still the case, I wouldn’t mind a shake up on that end.

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      I also don’t think they’ll be the wholesale changes that folks here are demanding. But if you start with your ending promise first – the defense needs a shake up, then you absolutely need to move one of Trez or Lou because they are both horrific on D. Lou has the best value to us because he’s at least a playmaker and on a bargain salary. That leaves Trez and if he’s looking to double his salary, that’s not value and needs to go.

      • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

        this.

      • Avatar osamu6238 says:

        Double his salary is only $12M annually. At that rate you absolutely keep Trez and I think still a decent value contract. $15M-$20M is where I think it gets questionable. I would pay him like $25M for 1 year and see if he’ll take it. Would open up some interesting trade propositions at the deadline.

  • Avatar Oodypkt says:

    Great article.
    Right now, I think there are 7 active coaches with the ring: Pop, Rick, Kerr, Doc, Lue, Nurse & Spo. (Correct me if I’m wrong)
    None of them are available. 2 of them are on our team.
    So, why not Ty Lue?
    Instead of let him walk, just promote him to HC and let Doc have some honorary position on the team.
    We blow 3-1 lead but he get his team out of it. (I know Lebron helped)
    But at least he know the balance between leading the team and let the superstar do their things.
    And he is familiar with the pressure to win it all after the failure in the first year trying.
    Maybe it’s worth a try.

  • Avatar Peter Goul says:

    “On the fringes, the team will probably end up waiving or trading Joakim Noah’s non-guaranteed deal for next year”

    Can someone explain why we signed Noah at all? Curiosity? Did we think he might help and then come to realize he had no court value? A lot of people thought he was a good addition and that there would come a time that his skillset would be needed, especially in the playoffs (a few minutes here and there on Jokic??). I am obviously not implying that Noah significantly moves the needle, but still would like to understand the thought process here.

    • Avatar sjake says:

      Yeah, I was wondering the same thing watching Trez out there getting outrebounded and generally just getting smoked on D.

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      Huh? He was signed as the emergency third center and he ended up paying dividends when Zu and later Trez were out of the bubble. No one sane thought he was signed to play minutes in the playoffs.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      I think it was just an injury insurance thing. The Clippers were always going to need to add another 7-footer before playoff rosters were set. No matter how much we all could see Trez was tanking the team, Rivers was clearly invested in trusting Harrell until it cost the Clippers their season.

      But imagine if either Zubac or Harrell had been injured. Then, I assume, Noah would have been pressed into duty–even if only 8-12 minutes a night. Reggie Jackson ended up out of the playoff rotation when everyone was healthy, but ended up playing significant minutes in the first round when Patrick Beverley was injured. Noah was a similar emergency depth signing, just the guys at his position stayed healthy.

    • Avatar osamu6238 says:

      Definitely wouldn’t have mind seeing him get a shot at Jokic. While he looked completely stuck in the mud against like the Lakers bigs, Jokic wasn’t going to out run anyone. Noah’s veteran savvy might’ve at least put up some resistance. Trez became completely unplayable by the end of the Denver series and if there’s any huge knock I have on Doc, it’s still giving him 26 minutes in that close out game, even if his shot was falling. I don’t even think Noah was active for game 7, so obviously wasn’t even an option, and I don’t think would’ve been fair to expect much from him if thrown into game 7, but earlier in the series, I think might’ve been at least worth a look for a few minutes.

  • Avatar osamu6238 says:

    I really appreciate that this year we have the NFL to throw myself into to try and forget about the Clippers for at least a little while. Suddenly I’m the biggest…. Rams? fan! Go FOOTBALL

  • Avatar Oodypkt says:

    How can you teach heart?
    It’s simple question that will carry us a long way.

    • Avatar sjake says:

      Great question. I don’t think you can teach “heart”, but I think you can teach something close to heart which is hustle and focus. My biggest grief with Doc over the years is that he lets players get away with shit that a coach like Pop would never tolerate. I’m talking about complaining about a lack of a foul and the other team gets a fast-break or someone stealing the ball and the whole team not hustling back on D.

      I’m convinced that a (maybe not “the”) turning point in this series with Denver is Morris’s stupid tech foul on Milsap in Game 5 for no reason after a missed Denver jumper. We were clubbing Denver at the time and I remember saying to myself that Morris is an f’ing idiot and he just cracked the door open a smidge. That seemed to fire up Milsap to be more aggresive and it carried over into the 2nd half. I was really hoping that Doc would sit Morris down and let him know he’s hurting the team, how important he is and to stay focused on the task at hand.

      • Avatar Oodypkt says:

        “I think you can teach something close to heart which is hustle and focus. My biggest grief with Doc over the years is that he lets players get away with shit that a coach like Pop would never tolerate. ”

        Good point.

  • Avatar Edu Beker says:

    Hi Lucas, take a look at Facundo Campazzo PG from Real Madrid, could provide playmaking, defense, focus ,winning culture environment.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      Hmmm… I would defer to scouts who have watched him play and done more than my 5-minute google foray, but I would say the general worry with guys like him isn’t regarding his talent level (which his obviously high) but just that sometimes transitioning to a new league with a very different play style can be tricky and the adjustment period can be lengthy. The margin for error is a lot greater for guys coming over at 19 or 20 than 29, and a lot greater for teams without title aspirations (like the Clippers when they signed Milos). It’s a higher-risk play, probably with higher upside too, than comparable guys in the NBA FA pool. If he adapts to the NBA easily then it’s a wonderful move but I wouldn’t blame the Clippers for not wanting to take that kind of risk.

      • Avatar Labis says:

        As a resident of Europe I agree.

        While he is a magician (on EuroLeague level) on offense he would run in to real trouble guarding Curry, Lillard etc every night.

  • Avatar Labis says:

    Why do the Clippers have to keep Morris?

    I do not saw him fit really well.
    Although he provides some toughness and 3PT shooting.

    He is just a ball stopper, who wants 2-3 dribbels into an iso pullup. That is just not winning basketball. Superstars are successful playing that way. Not your role players. Look at the Heat way of playing. We need more true shooting and more ballmovers/playmakers.

    I don’t know who was it that mentioned 5 years 70million for Jamychal Green (which would be the worst contract of the century) last off-season in an Clippers podcast, but sometimes I question the Basketball IQ of Clipsnation/213hoops Editors.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      The Clippers should keep Morris because they’re over the cap and have no avenue with which to replace him. Funny, it’s always the people who have no clue what they’re talking about who come in insulting others’ intelligence. Don’t be a dick or you’ll get banned.

      • Avatar Labis says:

        Keeping him in a way of retaining the asset is totally fine but same would go for Harrell. Retaining assets when capped out is key, I agree.

        I was not insulting overall IQ but basketball IQ, which was mainly about the 5/70mill extension for Green.

        But I get your point. Will keep it on a factual basis in the future. To assume that I have any clue (not saying I have very much) could be viewed as an insult too 😉

  • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

    This team needed Milos.