Off-Season Preview: Los Angeles Clippers

After suffering another disappointing exit from the playoffs the Los Angeles Clippers have their work cut out for them this summer. Good news, there really isn’t all that much to do. Bad news, the few things they have on the agenda will most likely shape the identity of the franchise for the next few years.

 

Needs:  Take care of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, no brainer right?

Wants: Decide which role players to bring back and smartly build the bench with the scant resources available

 

Money Situation

Guaranteed                                        2017-18                                  Insider info
DeAndre Jordan                             $22,642,350               Trade Bonus/extension eligible
Blake Griffin                                   $21,373,952                        Player option June 28
Jamal Crawford                              $14,246,988
Austin Rivers                                  $11,825,000
Wes Johnson                                   $5,881,260
Brice Johnson                                  $1,331,160
Diamond Stone                               $1,312,611

FA cap hold                                       2017-18                                    FA status
Chris Paul                                        $34,303,241                      Bird/projected to opt out
J.J. Redick                                         $14,017,250                                      Bird
Luc Mbah a Moute                          $2,863,990                  Early Bird/projected to opt out
Marreese Speights                          $1,471,382                                   Non-Bird
Raymond Felton                              $1,471,382                                   Non-Bird
Brandon Bass                                   $1,471,382                                   Non-Bird
Alan Anderson                                 $1,471,382                                   Non-Bird

 

Outlook:

Okay, we all know the Clippers are a big budget team with an owner that is practically made of gold so it would appear that money ain’t a thang right? Yeeeeeah, but the way the NBA luxury tax rules are set up will make your pretty bad contract even worse after they hit you with that extra. Real world equivalent? Think back to when you got that first $800 cell phone bill. So clearly while there are the top shelf items that are top priority (Griffin and Paul), it’s the second tier “we gotta think on it” items (Luc Mbah a Moute and JJ Redick) and the stuff further down the trough that may be small in appearance but is a really the secret to success (the bench) that will be as vital in LA’s success moving forward.

It’s a hard spot to be in because all three levels of their moves will be predicated on what happens up top. Most likely the Clippers will look to let Reddick and Mbah a Moute walk if it takes too much effort (cash) on their part. But with being so far over the cap right now at $37 million before signing their guys the Clippers will be left with the $5.2 million tax MLE to fill any holes.

 

Names to watch: Gerald Green – SF – Unrestricted, Thabo Sefolosha – SF – Unrestricted, Nick Young – SG/SF – Player Option (Opted Out), Vince Carter – SG/SF – Unrestricted, Terrence Jones – PF – Unrestricted

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