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The 2012-2013 Clippers: It is What it is, But it Can Get Better

It's been a while, and I wish the circumstances were better, but I think that we all could use some early discussion dedicated to the offseason. With that, I've assembled a list of names that are of relevance to the front office's task of constructing a better team for next season. Needless to say, I fully expect Paul to resign with the club, this for a host of reasons that have been and will surely be outlined again by others at the blog.

A critical question to ask is this: will Donald Sterling be open to the possibility of paying the luxury tax, especially after what he must view as an extremely disappointing end to the season? I might not be precisely accurate with the numbers, but this offseason, the Clippers will have something in the 8-7 million range of room before they hit the luxury tax between Green, Bledsoe, Hill (likely to retire), Crawford, Griffin, Butler, Jordan, and I assume, CP3. I think it's a solid bet that Barnes and Odom will resign, both in the 3-5 million range, but beyond those two, there really isn't money to do anything more than fill out the roster with minimum players before crossing the tax line.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310323012

I invite you to recall this past performance of the team that sprang to my memory. Notice the production, albeit in a 2OT game, between a perimeter stud in Gordon and the combination of Griffin and Chris Kaman, who, by the way was oh so close to recording that 30 point game that's always eluded him. Right now, there's Chris Paul and a Blake Griffin who our pals at tnt like to remind us, hasn't been imposing his will on games lately like we know he's capable of. He's a better player now for sure, but he's a much more impactful player when he's shooting more than two shots in the second half of ball games and producing 30-15 games more than a couple times a season. DeAndre Jordan is a talented ironman, and the player put on posters with Griffin and Paul early on, but the team can't afford to pay him an eight figure salary to start seasons strong before losing his coach's trust and his confidence in his game before disappearing come playoff time. It feels very distant now, but it was just a handful of months ago that he was serving the team as a force in the low post and as the defensive anchor that he has always had the physical tools to be.

As cited earlier, here's the list of names that arguably fill holes that exist in the team as currently constructed.

Bigs:
channing frye

amir johnson

kevin garnett

al jefferson

ersan ilyasova

luis scola

enes kanter

anderson varejao

marcin gortat

elton brand (oh yes)

shawn marion

samuel dalembert

Wings:

paul pierce

chandler parsons

aaron afflalo

andre iguodala

jimmy butler

tyreke evans

gordon hayward

courtney lee

metta world peace

kyle korver

Ideally, I would like to see them make a sign and trade for Al Jefferson with Bledsoe and Jordan going out, although I don't know if the numbers would pan out to make the trade viable. I'm spit-balling this idea, but after that, I might draft a wing while resigning Barnes, Odom, and, dare I say Billups in the role of backup point guard.Of course, the rest of the roster would be filled out with towel wavers. Who's up for another dose of Rony Turiaf?


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