The Los Angeles Clippers have been busy beavers already this offseason, but they have much work yet to be done if they want to contend for a title. That's why a trade this offseason could very well be in the cards.
ESPN's Chris Broussard reports that Chris Paul is so likely to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, his representatives have told teams around the league not to bother calling about him. Everything will now be built around Paul going forward, with the goal of winning a championship.
New coach Doc Rivers has also been named the Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations. Perhaps owner Donald Sterling merely made this move to feel like he was getting his money's worth out of Rivers, but there's no doubt about who's in charge of assembling this squad.
Rivers inherits a 56-win team that earned the first division title in franchise history. They finished fourth in offensive efficiency (measured by points per 100 possessions) and ninth in defensive efficiency. It was a very good year.
But their swift exit from the postseason ensured a change was coming, and Rivers has some things to fix if he wants to mold a very good Clippers team into a true title contender. Based on his track record, Rivers will likely look to preserve and enhance the team's half-court prowess while also stocking the team with solid defenders.
The biggest area of need for the Clips is at swingman. Caron Butler and Willie Green did their best impressions of competent NBA starters last season, but the Clippers will need something more if they want to style themselves as real contenders.
Step one for the Clippers should be to re-sign their Swiss Army knife Matt Barnes. Step two should be to bring in a new face to galvanize the team and shore up the middle of their lineup.
First, we'll look at two of the most prominent trades that have been rumored, and then consider four players who would make for an even better fit in Lob City.