Now that the season is over, fans can catch up on all of the recent chatter surrounding this team.
Back in early April, Marc Stein of ESPN reported that Vinny Del Negro’s future with the Clippers may be in jeopardy. In the report, he said:
Vinny Del Negro insisted before a recent loss in Dallas that he has "a great future no matter what." The signals are nonetheless getting stronger and stronger that said future won't be at Staples Center, with Del Negro working on the flimsy final year of his original Clippers contract and L.A. looking nothing like the team -- whether that's due to health woes, locker-room fissures or coaching issues -- that won 17 straight games in December.
With the season now over due to an early exit, those rumors will likely pick up some steam once again. The front office was clearly looking for a big run, but the Clippers just weren’t able to make that happen.
"Bled is one of the best guards in our league," Paul said after practice Sunday. "I've said it all season long. I'm enjoying playing with him right now because there's no way he can be here next year because we probably won't have enough money to pay him. He should be a starting point guard in this league next year."
Even though Bledsoe is under contract next season, Paul believes the team will need cap room for other players.
Oddly enough, Paul is one of those players that the Clippers might need cap room to sign this summer.
Paul’s contract is now up with the Clippers, but signs point to him re-signing with the team this summer. Looking back on the previous quote from Paul, it seems like he is fully expecting to sign a big contract, hence his belief that the team won’t have cap room for Bledsoe.
Overall, Paul has stayed quiet about his future with the Clippers this season. When asked about his future with the team in February, Paul said “No, I haven't decided what I am going to do next season, and no, I haven't told anyone what I'm going to do” (h/t T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times).
Chauncey Billups' future is also in question. His contract is up, and at 36 years old his future in the NBA is in question. When asked back in April if this would be his last season, Billups responded saying, “No…Not at all.” (h/t Arash Markazi of ESPN)
The rest of the team is pretty set, with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford all still under contract in the 2013-2014 season. The rumors surrounding Paul and Del Negro will be swirling during the entire offseason, and it will be quite interesting to see how that plays out.
Until then, this team will have to focus on getting better so that they can win a playoff series next season.
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