With the Clippers now into the All Star break they’re 30-26, a half game behind the Pelicans for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. They dealt away franchise icon Blake Griffin to Detroit for a package including Avery Bradley. That trade made it appear as if the Clippers were set for a rebuild, but that may not be the case. In the Clippers most recent game they had an impressive win over the Celtics, the second best team in the Eastern Conference. As they went into the All Star break the Clippers do not have a championship roster. They also do not have a horrible roster. They could still make a run for multiple reasons.
Trading Blake Griffin was an unpopular move in Los Angeles. The trade left Deandre Jordan as the only member of the big three that also included Chris Paul and Griffin. The trade brought back pieces that can still help the Clippers. In the trade they received Avery Bradley, Tobais Harris, Boban Marjanovic and two future draft picks. Marjanovic does not figure much into the Clippers future, but Harris and Bradley might. Since the trade, Harris has averaged seventeen points a game. Bradley isn’t having the same offensive impact, but he is shooting 47% from the field since the trade. The Clippers have one more year of control with Harris, as Bradley will be a free agent this summer. That will keep both of them motivated as they hope to secure long-term deals.
Lou Williams was one of the most talked about names at the deadline. The Clippers took him off the trade block after they signed him to a three year extension. Signing Williams was critical, as Deandre Jordan will be a free agent after next season. Williams has been a go to scorer for the Clippers whether it’s starting or off the bench. The Clippers will be looking to build a competitive roster in an attempt to resign Jordan. He is now the face of the franchise and one of the most talented centers in the league. This summer the Clippers will have many options in free agency, as some of the leagues best players will enter the market. The list includes superstars such as LeBron James and Paul George. It is a very deep class with many different options for the Clippers. The second half of the season will have a huge impact on how they approach the offseason.
If the Clippers do continue to win down the stretch, then they’ll be a more attractive destination in free agency. This would also make the Clippers more appealing to Jordan if the Clippers attempt to resign him. Their is still a lot of basketball to be played, but the Clippers enter the break on a high note. They could surprise people down the stretch and be aggressive in free agency.