Time to rebuild the Clippers?

Published by Yoshi on 22nd January - 14:30 (CET)
Sitting at fourth place in the highly competitive Western Conference maybe isn't a position you would be considering a rebuild in, but for the Los Angeles Clippers this might just be the time to start looking at that option. I may not know what is being whispered in the Clippers front office hallways, but I do know a guy who is actually a Clippers fan which automatically places me among one of the top 200-300 most knowledgeable people in the world on Clippers happenings, so hear me out here.

Since the '11-'12 season, with the first two years of the period under Vinny del Negro and the following under Doc Rivers, the Clippers have steadily been one of the top teams in the league during the regular season. From that year through January 22nd of 2017 they have won a whooping 66.2% of their regular season games, with only three teams sporting better regular season records over the same period; the Thunder with 66.4%, Golden State with 68.2% and the all-mighty Spurs with 75%. During those same years, however, the Clips haven't managed to get past the second round in the Playoffs and haven't any year felt dangerous enough to seriously command the "contender" title despite their incredible success leading up to the Playoffs year after year. Even their regular season winning percentage has been in decline since '13-'14.

You already know how I feel about Doc Rivers, so let's not dive deeper into that, but it it safe to say his time with this group of players hasn't delivered on what was expected when his move from the Celtics was announced. Furthermore, the two top dawgs on the team, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, both sit on player options for the '17-'18 season and could choose to chase rings (or money) elsewhere if they, like me, start sensing that this group is not destined to reach the ultimate goal. For a floor general like CP3 there will always be high demand, and choosing to spend another few years watching free throw airballs, listening to Doc's hoarse shouting and catching June basketball on TV might be pretty unappealing when buddy Lebron James starts talking "super-team" again in the off-season.

The problem with many rebuild projects in the NBA is that they start a tad bit too late, which leaves the teams in terrible condition and arena seats empty for years before getting back on track again. The Clippers organization should learn from the Spurs' past two decades and prepare for the future while still rich on assets and in good bargaining position.

So forget about the current fourth place and another first or second round exit from the 2017 NBA Playoffs, it is time to already now blow things up, ship off Blake and a few others, and make Chris Paul believe that his best opportunity to win is with the Los Angeles Clippers of '17-'18 - since the Los Angeles Clippers of '11-'17 will not be enough to convince him.

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