I've touched on this subject quite a few times on many different mediums in the last couple of years.
The Los Angeles Clippers need their own identity.
An identity away from a losing culture that outside the last six seasons they have for the moment temporarily severed themselves away from.
An identity where it does not have to to compete with the Lakers, who they share a damn arena with for crying out loud.
This upcoming summer the Clippers front office have a bunch of decisions to make. Their two best players, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, both can opt out of their current contracts and test the free agency waters for what many expect them to be offered maximum salaries. The bigger question is whether the Clippers should be one of those teams that should be in the mix to re-up both guys to a potentially similar deal.
Following their recent playoff disappointment at the hands of the Utah Jazz, which ended with them losing in seven games this past Sunday, sentiment seems to indicate that the Clips should go the route of blowing up their entire roster and start anew.
Truthfully an argument can be made going into that direction. Adding to the argument is that the core of Paul and Griffin, the team has gotten no further than the second round of the postseason. Very disappointing when you consider the individual talent that has adorned the Clippers roster for a better part of this half decade.
Here is the elephant in the room. Nuking the roster may not actually be the answer.
We have to remember. These are the Clippers. Not the Lakers. Strange enough we have gotten so use to the Clippers actually being a positively functional NBA franchise the last couple of seasons that somehow it has suspended our brains into forgetting just how the 40 years before 2011 played out for this franchise. To put simply -- any idea of a complete reset is likely to return the franchise to pre Paul/Griffin era. That my friends is not a good thing.
Say you let Chris Paul walk? Fine. He's 32 years old. Argument again can be made he'd be a much riskier investment on the back end of a long term deal. But this is where I get frustrated with the present day knee jerk sports fan who likes to pretend the NBA trade machine is more of a toy than a productive tool. Who can you actually get that is better or at least equivalent to Paul's production? Last I checked he was still a top three point guard in the Association. Certainly still a top 10-15 player in the league.
As for Blake Griffin. How are you replacing his production in the immediate? Understandably the last two seasons have not been so kind to him. Two season ending injuries in the postseason. But again -- this is the same player who was third in MVP voting just a few seasons ago.
I'm not saying that they should not consider any and all possibilities. But there is a huge risk just locally if the reset button is hit. The Lakers, who themselves are in total rebuild mode and arguably have been one of the worst teams in the league the last few years still draw more interest in the city of Los Angeles than the Clips. This is even with a Clippers team that has normalize their franchise into winning 50 plus games a season. So in a vacuum imagine the Clippers regressing back to the pre-2011 form. It will not be a good look. In fact it could be disastrous.