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Doc Rivers on L.A. Clippers’ impending roster cutdown

Doc Rivers, Tobias Harris

LOS ANGELES – The regular season is fast approaching, and that means the deadline to set NBA rosters for opening day is as well. By 2PM PST on Monday, October 15th, all 30 NBA teams will have had to submit their final rosters for the start of the 2018-19 season, with some having to make some potentially excruciating cuts. Doc Rivers and the L.A. Clippers are going to be one of those teams.

On Tuesday, the Clippers waived training camp invite Desi Rodriguez, who also played for the team in Summer League. The move cut their roster down to 17 players (not including the pair of two-way players who don’t count towards a roster spot). That leaves six more days to decide which players will round out the final, 15-man roster.

Coach Rivers says he’s not looking for anything in particular in the team’s final two preseason games, and that they know what moves they’re going to make by the 15th.

“We probably know what we’re going to do already for the most part,” admitted Rivers before the Clippers took on the Nuggets. “Obviously I’ll sit with Lawrence [Frank], Michael [Winger], and everybody, but we pretty much know.”

It’s unclear which players will be in danger of being the odd men out, as you could make a case for a handful of players to remain on the team. Still, President Lawrence Frank and General Manager Michael Winger will have tough decisions to make during their sit-down with Rivers.

“There’s always a chance someone can change your mind and I’m all for it, let me put it that way,” added Rivers. “We’ve practiced a lot and that’s where you see more right now. You get a chance to see these guys every day. Some guys may have played well, but then over all when you watch them in practice, you may lean to another guy because you just like what you think he can do someday.

“That’s what we’ll evaluate.”

Regardless of who doesn’t make the roster, Rivers and his coaching staff will face the challenge of having solid NBA talent sitting on the bench because there simply won’t be enough playing time to go around. However, considering last year’s incredible injury woes, it’s a good problem to have.