Culver City Observer -

Clippers Are Anxious To Negotiate With Their Many Free Agents


The Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead and lost a year ago in the NBA playoffs.

They had a 2-0 lead this time and lost after their two biggest stars, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, were injured and ruled out of further play.

If you’re a Clipper fan you prefer to focus on the 53 regular season wins rather than the playoff losses.

But wherever you stand you’re probably curious about what the Clippers are going to do this summer

“We have a lot of free agents,” said Coach Doc Rivers. “That’s where we have to start.”

Eight Clippers are free to leave if the team doesn’t satisfy them with a new contract.

The list consists of Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers. Jeff Green, Luc Mbah a Moute, Cole Aldrich, Wesley Johnson, Pablo Priqioni and Jeff Ayres.

Before the competition begins throughout the league to sign free agents one interesting development has occurred.

Rivers, Doc’s son, put on a heroic performance in the Clippers’ final playoff game loss to the Trail Blazers in Portland.

He suffered a severe gash around his right eye, was unavailable for a long stretch in the game, then returned with a hard-to-believe contribution of 21 points, eight assists and and six rebounds.

Doubtlessly, with that game on his resume he’s likely to command a nice raise from the $3.3 million he made this season.

“I was so into the game I didn’t think much about the severity of his injury,” said Coach Rivers. “Austin was in the dressing room getting stitches and I kept

asking why he hadn’t come back.”

It wasn’t until later that the coach learned Austin had received 11 stitches, seven above the eye and four below. Photos taken late in the game showed plenty of blood.

Austin said he had no vision from the eye.

The next day Doc Rivers received a lot of text messages and phone calls, several from coaches of other NBA teams. They were moved to call and praise the youngster.

“They were praising my son so I thought that was cool,” said the coach.

It would seem likely the Clippers will try hard to keep Crawford, Rivers and Green. As for the others the league’s salary cap will be a factor.

Free agents can’t sign with teams until July 1.

After the Clippers concluded that a lack of depth was a major factor in their second round collapse against the Houston Rockets last season they upgraded the quality of their reserves. That helped them to a 53-win season even though Griffin missed 45 games.

But a new problem arrived, damaging injuries to Griffin and Paul in this season’s first round playoff series.

There’s not a lot wrong with becoming the No. 4 seed in the tough Western Conference. Or with 11 straight wins over the Lakers since 2014. But Clipper fans would like more playoff success, like reaching the Conference finals, something no Clipper team has done.

The Clippers, of course, will be interested in some free agent from other teams.

There will be rumors in June and action at the start of July.


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023

Rendered 03/26/2023 22:49