Hi all, I'm a relatively new member to CN, but I've been a Clips fan for a while now (first started paying attn when Mo Taylor and Derek Anderson were our best players...). Anyways, in no particular order, here are the 4 most important things I think the Clips can (and should) do this offseason to get better:
1. Stabilize the SG spot:
Whether this means re-signing Chauncey Billups - assuming he's healthy, Chauncey gives our team much needed consistent shooting (look at how packed the paint was against the Spurs), leadership and depth at both guard spots - or making a run at someone like Ray Allen - he's exactly what we need, but he'll likely be out of our price range - the Clippers need stability from their starting SG. Randy Foye did an admirable job filling in after Chauncey went down, but he just couldn't bring it night in and night out. Hell, even with a healthy Chauncey he was still playing out of position. Nick Young should be re-signed at a reasonable rate, but I wouldn't feel comfortable with him starting every night unless he makes marked improvement this offseason - he's essentially a less consistent, but much more explosive version of Randy Foye.
2. Get a big man who can SHOOT:
I loved K-Mart and Reggie Evans as much as anyone this season, but between those two and DJ and Blake, none of them could consistently hit a 15-20 ft jumper, OR a free throw. I think we need to make a trade or sign a free agent along the lines of a Channing Frye, Al Harrington or even kick the tires on Rashard Lewis to see what he's got left (and please, PLEASE do NOT bring back Brian Cook). Obviously Blake and DJ aren't going anywhere, so a lot of this depends on how much they can improve in the offseason, but there should be some easily available options for us this summer. For the record I'd let K-Mart walk (he'll probably get a bigger contract than I'm comfortable giving him anyways), and bring in a cheap alternative who gives us some shooting touch, and I think we should keep Reggie, assuming he accepts a reasonable deal.
3. Height, AND girth:
The problem early this season was that we didn't have any reliable big men to back up DJ and Blake, but that was remedied by bringing in K-Mart and Reggie. Well, one, or both could be gone this summer, and we need to make sure we keep the PF/C spots manned with size. I mean, this is kind of a cop out in that, well, what team DOESN'T want to get bigger along the front line? But as was made plainly obvious to us by the Grizzlies and the Spurs, we need not only height, but some girth, to keep Marc Gasol and Tim Duncan out of the paint. We could use someone along the lines of a Marreese Speights (it pains me to say that), or Taj Gibson. Ironically Chris Kaman would satisfy both 2 and 3 for me, but something tells me that bridge has been burned...not to mention he wouldn't like coming off the bench and is again likely going to command too much money. Before the season I would've said someone like Lamar Odom might help, but given what he showed in Dallas, I think the only team he'd be viable playing for is the other LA team...
I know VDN was put in a difficult situation this year - expectations went through the roof in the blink of an eye, and there wasn't an offseason for the team to gel. And I know VDN has some redeeming qualities - he seems to get along well with the players, and he's been willing to admit his mistakes and that he has areas he needs to improve. With that being said, I think we'd be crazy to not talk to Nate McMillan or SVG. Both of these guys are well respected coaches, whose players (minus Dwight Howard, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms that I won't get into here...) played hard every night, and, more importantly, ran real offenses. I said it before VDN was hired, and I'll say it again, the man cannot draw up a play in the last two minutes of a game - when you actually, y'know, NEED a coach. I also had some issues with his inconsistent rotations (the only players who should get to benefit of being left in when they're playing poorly are CP3 and Blake), but game management is an easier skill to pick up than offensive acumen. I know that coaches too often get the blame, and I think VDN did an admirable job this season - I just feel like now that we know we have a contending squad, we don't need someone who just motivates the players, we need someone who motivates them AND puts them in position to succeed. I know we never would have made the hire, but when I think about what this team would look like if we hired Rick Adelman last summer (curse you, Minnesota!), I die a little on the inside.
Just as a side note, I think DJ and Blake's improvement this offseason (particularly at the free throw line) is the single most important issue for the Clips next year, but I just wanted to address things the organization itself could do. So what do y'all think? Realistic? Insane? I'd like to think these suggestions aren't too preposterous...