As the NBA offseason draws to a close, rosters for the 2019-2020 season are mostly set. It’s now time for the dog days of summer, as the NBA goes on hiatus for the better part of two months before training camp begins in late September. With the bulk of player movement done, media sites are releasing their initial power rankings for the 2019-2020 NBA season, which will probably remain unchanged for a while. Let’s see what a few of the major sites are saying about the Clippers.
Previous rank: 5
Current rank: 3
Notes: “Shocking the Lakers, the Raptors and the entire NBA, the Clippers persuaded [Kawhi] Leonard to become a Clipper by stealthily working a trade for Paul George. Though the blockbuster move cost a historic haul of five first-round picks, two first-round-pick swaps and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari, the Clippers are now instant title contenders....Doc Rivers’ defense could be the nastiest in the NBA with Leonard, George and Patrick Beverley forming a perimeter wall. Rivers has the best second-unit combo in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, and role players such as JaMychal Green, Maurice Harkless and Landry Shamet might make the Clippers the best team in not just Staples Center this season but perhaps in the entire league.” — Ohm Youngmisuk
Previous rank: 8
Current rank: 1
Notes: “The Clippers undoubtedly won the summer. When it looked like they had their sights set on just bringing Kawhi Leonard back home to Southern California, they ended up sending an unheard of compilation of draft picks to OKC along with Danilo Gallinari and the highly coveted Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. It was worth it though. They still need to figure out the center position, unless you believe in Ivica Zubac. Montezl Harrell and JaMychal Green will see plenty of time there, but the Clippers need more of a defensive presence inside than anybody they have....The defense they can put out there with Kawhi, PG, Mo Harkless,and Patrick Beverley could be historic. The Clippers need time to mesh, but their bench still features Lou Williams, Trez and Landry Shamet....There’s a reason they’re the current favorites to win the title after decades and decades of being justifiably overlooked.” — Zach Harper
Previous rank: Not stated
Current rank: 1
Notes: “Leonard and George going to the Clippers wasn’t your typical superstar team-up...The Heat had to strip their roster down to the bare bones to make room for LeBron and Chris Bosh...The Clippers signing Kawhi and trading for PG feels closer to the Warriors landing Kevin Durant in 2016...It’s not quite on that level....But Kawhi is a two-time Finals MVP, fresh off another title. George just finished third in MVP voting. And they’re both going to a team that still has Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams. Landry Shamet, Ivica Zubac and Maurice Harkless should all be helpful, too. The Clippers now has star power at the top. But it could be their depth that really makes them dangerous.” — Andy Bailey
If it wasn’t obvious enough from all the talk surrounding it, these power rankings confirm it: people think the Clippers will be great this season. And for good reason! This does mean that expectations are higher than ever, and failure to meet those expectations... well, let’s not think about that right now. The Clippers had a tremendous offseason, and are heading into the latter part of their summer with championship aspirations. Now comes a long wait until the season starts, and we see what this new group can actually accomplish on the court.