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Clippers could cough up $196 million for Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, J.J. Redick next season

With the summer nearing, the L.A. Clippers are already anticipating big decisions on their players who are scheduled to become free agents. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and J.J. Redick are all expected to test the market, but Doc Rivers is keen on giving them the offers they will demand to make sure they’ll remain in Los Angeles.

That is if it was all up to him.

Rivers has to consider what team owner Steve Ballmer is willing to spend, as well their plans on how to make the team better. The veteran head coach recently discussed, via Sam Amick of USA Today Sports, the contract situations the Clippers will face, especially knowing that the trio will most likely have an asking price of close to $196 million combined, which includes a massive luxury penalty.

“Here’s my argument to (the question of whether all that luxury tax is worth it). Let’s say we don’t win this year — which I think we will, (but) let’s say we don’t. Do you give up on a 50-win team that has proven that they’re really close (to winning it all), or do you hang in there and keep trying to maybe make changes around (the core)?

“I always use Utah as a great (example). Thank God Karl Malone and (John) Stockton didn’t listen to people, you know what I mean? They fell (in the playoffs), and kept trying and kept trying. And finally, late in their careers, they finally broke through to the Finals. They didn’t win it (all). But you know, that’s the pursuit. I just think it’s so easy to (say), ‘Hey, they should break up,’ from the outside. And I think that’s such an easy opinion.”

As it stands, Rivers’ team is in a position where winning a championship may be the only way for them to keep all three in their fold, as the glare of more championship rings and trophies might be enough in luring them to stay and continue playing together. Should they not be successful, the sight of these three in a Clippers uniform would be up to Ballmer’s willingness to spend and belief that he can still have a return in investment with the same lineup.

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