While there remains a chance that Blake Griffin could re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, one thing that’s certain is that point guard Chris Paul will not return to the team. As The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, the Clippers and Houston Rockets have struck a deal that will send Paul to Texas and pair him up with James Harden.
This is both good and bad news for the Clippers. While Paul originally opted out of his contract, his decision to opt into it and allow the Clippers to trade him, means that Los Angeles will at least receive something in return. And, as theScore pointed out, that something is at least a few players who should make an immediate impact on the Clippers roster.
With the deal done and Paul no longer in town, let’s take a look at the Clippers updated roster, with the starters having an asterisk next to their names. Just to note, this will not include Griffin, as he’ll be a free agent.
- C- DeAndre Jordan*, Diamond Stone
- PF- Sam Dekker*, Brice Johnson
- SF- Wesley Johnson*
- SG- Lou Williams*, Jamal Crawford, Sindarius Thornwell
- PG- Patrick Beverley*, Austin Rivers, Jawun Evans
As you can tell, this is massively different than the team the Clippers put on the court last year. There are many names missing who could be back, as the Clippers have a ton of free agents, according to Spotrac. That list includes Griffin, J.J. Redick, Raymond Felton, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Brandon Bass, Marreese Speights and Alan Anderson.
Obviously, the Clippers are in a position where they should have at least some cap space to spend this offseason. More importantly, as The Vertical’s Bobby Marks pointed out, the team could also be loaded with cap space in the summer of 2018.
Losing Paul is a brutal blow, but the potential is still there for Griffin to possibly return and the Clippers at least managed to pick up a few pieces via trade. Otherwise, that roster above could look far worse if they hadn’t added those three pieces and a first-round draft pick.