Winning is the main priority, but for the Los Angeles Clippers, winning should be only part of their top goal for next season.
The Clippers are in the Western Conference where the current talent on their roster does not match up to the rest of the teams they have to face.
Last year’s look
Last season, the Clippers competed hard throughout the season after dealing with injuries, trades and rumors. They finished 41-41 and stayed in the playoff race until the last few games of the regular season. This upcoming season, the team is building for the future and beyond.
DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers, the two longest tenured Clippers, will not be on the roster next season. Jordan signed with the Dallas Mavericks for one-year, worth $23 million. Rivers was traded to the Washington Wizards for Marcin Gortat after opting into his contract.
Into the future
With Jordan and Rivers on new teams, the Clippers have obviously decided to look towards to the future. They drafted two guards in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson to start their rebuild toward the future.
Their two young guards certainly have talent. Gilgeous-Alexander has looked like the best point guard in his class at the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged 19 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and was a pest on defense. Robinson showcased his shooting ability as he averaged 13.7 points.
One thing Doc Rivers and the Clippers need to do is compete. Rivers last season had his team play hard until the end even if their roster did not match up to their opponents. It would be vital that Rivers incorporates that hard-nose style of play in Gilgeous-Alexander and Robinson. They will most likely not be a playoff team but still need to compete all the time. They are fortunate to play with Patrick Beverley, a player who made his career on playing hard.
The Clippers will be in almost every game they play in, but may struggle to carve out wins. If they compete next season, the Clippers will have laid a foundation for future free agents like Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 offseason.