It was an interesting season for the Los Angeles Clippers.
A year after blowing a 3-1 series lead against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Clippers strengthened their bench and were considered as one of the top title contenders.
If things didn’t work out, many felt the team would be dismantled.
The Clips managed to win 50 or more games for the fourth straight season, but injuries all year, especially in the playoffs, dashed their championship aspirations.
After their first round exit, head coach Doc Rivers was asked about the future of the roster. According to the Associated Press, Rivers stated that the big three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan will remain intact for 2016-17, regardless of what trade offers come along.
It’s not just their star players though; Rivers hopes to keep as much of the roster together as possible. From Joe Resnick:
“I like our core and I like our bench, which was really good this year,” Rivers said.
“I think they all want to come back, and we’re going to make a strong effort to bring all our guys back. The good news about the free-agent guys who are opting out on their contracts — as they should because everyone knows what we can spend and what we can’t spend — I can’t find one who doesn’t want to be here.”
“We’re close, and we know that,” Rivers said. “We have a priority of trying to just keep making our team better.”
Rivers acknowledged that injuries presented a large road block for the team, especially Griffin’s nagging quad issue.
Obviously because of the injuries — Blake’s in particular — we literally don’t know what we could have done. Even during the playoffs, he still wasn’t a hundred percent.”
Any thought of dismantling the roster given that they failed to reach their goals is on hold because Rivers will never know how far they could’ve gone had they stayed healthy.
“I would love to have seen us a hundred percent healthy going into the season,” said Rivers. “And if we hadn’t have won it then (under those circumstances), you would have known exactly what you need to do. So now it’s more guesswork. But I think we have a pretty good idea of what to do.”
If things don’t work out next year, the current rendition of the Clippers might look much different following the upcoming season.