The Los Angeles Clippers NBA Summer League is over after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers, 82-69, in the first round of tournament. It means little to nothing. The Clippers as an organization should realize they do not have the benefit of building a team like the Lakers can. That is okay.
Rookie guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson both sat out the game for rest. If each played, the outcome may have been different. Gilgeous-Alexander has played like one of the best players in his 2018 draft class.
In four summer league games, Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 19 points on 45.8 percent shooting. He’s also added 4.8 rebounds, four assists and two steals. He looks to be the Clippers point guard for many years. Robinson can provide scoring help from the off-guard position. He averaged 13.7 points on 44.4 percent shooting in three summer league games.
Jump starting the franchise
Gilgeous-Alexander and Robinson are the two players to help jump start the Clippers rebuild as they hope to become contenders again in the Western Conference. Their process is different than their hometown rival.
The Clippers have been widely looked as a laughingstock team throughout history while the Lakers are arguably the best franchise in the NBA, if not all sports.
Even though the Clippers have been the better franchise (355-203 record) compared to the Lakers (212-346) over the last seven seasons, the Lakers are still able to attract stars to their brand. The best example is signing LeBron James this offseason.
Rumors have surfaced James wanted to play in Los Angeles to pursue business opportunities off the court. Those involve his entertainment company SpringHill Entertainment. Of course, he also wants to still play basketball. He had his eyes set on the Lakers and did not bother giving the Clippers a meeting.
The last star the Clippers attracted was Chris Paul acquiring him from the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) in 2011. They were able to sell Paul on leading a team with the help of an up-and-coming star Blake Griffin.
With Gilgeous-Alexander and Robinson, the Clippers must hope their two new rookies pan out to be good pros in hopes of attracting more stars. Reports have surfaced Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard may be open to playing for the Clippers.
The Clippers may not have the roster to become a top-8 seed in the tough Western Conference. If they compete and show promise, they can be a landing spot for Leonard and other star players in the future.