It is officially time to look back at how each team performed this offseason and grade them on what they did. At least, that’s what ESPN is doing. Considering free agency started roughly six weeks ago, it’s a great time for reexamining. As a result of what they accomplished, the LA Clippers came out looking great.
ESPN senior writer Kevin Pelton had this to say about the Clippers’ offseason:
Taking full advantage of owner Steve Ballmer’s checkbook, the Clippers have been able to retain just about all of the depth that enabled them to stay competitive last season without Kawhi Leonard and with Paul George limited to 31 games. The Clippers extended Robert Covington and Ivica Zubac before they hit free agency, then re-signed Nicolas Batum and Amir Coffey at healthy raises.
The Clippers did lose backup center Isaiah Hartenstein, indicating they’ll likely play more small ball this season to take full advantage of their unparalleled wing depth. Instead of looking to replace Hartenstein, the Clippers used their taxpayer midlevel to add John Wall to upgrade at point guard.
Ultimately, Pelton gave the Clippers a ‘B+’ grade for what they did. It was tied with the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs for being the second-best grade of any team in the conference behind only the Utah Jazz, who received an ‘A’ after trading star center Rudy Gobert for a haul of picks.
It seems like a pretty fair grade for the Clippers with all things considered. The only notable addition they made was Wall, but there’s something to be said for retaining the vast majority of your key free agents. With Hartenstein being the only departure among the team’s rotation players, it stands to reason this was a highly successful offseason for the Clippers.
All that remains is for the Clippers to go into the season with health on their side thanks to the returning Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and see if they can bring home the franchise’s first-ever championship.