Clippers 2011 Offseason Outlook: What Is the Future for Griffin and Crew?

Austin BrinesContributor IIJune 9, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives against Timofey Mozgov #25 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on February 9, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Clippers defeated the Knicks 116-108. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The Clippers, after many years of suffering, actually have a very solid young core currently.

Blake Griffin is a legit superstar and will soon be able to lead a team to the playoffs. Eric Gordon is a talented scorer and defender and getting better. Eric Bledsoe will be a solid backup point guard at worst or, more likely, an athletic starting point guard in a few years.

Until then, the Clips have a solid point guard who was once an all star in Mo Williams. DeAndre Jordan is an extremely athletic inside force and defensive presence. Chris Kaman is a fabulous trade chip who could bring in a solid SF such as Andre Iguodala or Danny Granger.

Also, they have Minnesota's first-round pick next year, unprotected. This pick could easily be a top-five pick which would allow them to add a superstar. This pick would also be a fabulous trade chip. 

What does Neil Olshey have to do to turn the Clippers into a playoff team?

Not much. The Clippers are obviously on the right path. The front office has an enormous amount of possibilities. Do we trade for a SF such as Granger or Iggy? Or sign a veteran such as Tayshaun Prince or Caron Butler.

Another option is keeping Kaman, letting his and Williams' contracts expire, and going after a superstar PG in 2012. However, I believe the odds of landing a Chris Paul or Deron Williams are too low to risk it.

In my opinion, a trade for Iguodala or Granger would make this team an immediate playoff team. However, the most important thing to improve will be the bench. Last year, the bench was flat out awful. With a starting lineup of:

PG: Mo Williams

SG: Eric Gordon

SF: Iggy/Granger

PF: Blake Griffin

C: DeAndre Jordan

Capable of carrying the team to the playoffs, the bench will be what helps get them further. They need to add a solid backup for Griffin and Jordan, and a solid scorer off the bench. A good three-point shooter is also essential.

Finally, there is some hope in Clipper land! Tell me in the comment section what you think the Clippers should do this summer.