The LA Clippers could be facing a defining offseason in the franchise's history. They have just reached their first NBA Conference Finals and yet the future of their biggest star is currently in the balance.
A lot of the infrastructure for success is in place at the LA Clippers. They have a deep bench who finished top during the regular season for three-point efficiency, a number of young stars who excelled in the playoffs and two superstar scorers in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. With Leonard's future doubts aside, that is the makeup of a championship contender next year.
Nevertheless, there are always problems to solve at an NBA franchise. Especially for one that wants to win a title. In this article, we will look into three of the biggest needs the LA Clippers must address in the summer to go one step further in the 2021-22 campaign.
The LA Clippers head into the offseason with their heads held high, knowing they couldn't have done much more in this year's playoffs without Kawhi Leonard for the last eight contests. Their superstar was sidelined after game four of their semifinal series against the Utah Jazz and yet the Clippers prevailed to reach the Conference Finals.
Although they were unable to get past the Phoenix Suns, ultimately losing in six games, the Clippers took a major step in proving their critics wrong. Especially for those who wish to slander Paul George, who, on numerous occasions, carried his team without Leonard.
He will be hoping that he and Kawhi can run it back next season should the LA Clippers address the latter's future and other problems this summer.
#3 Point guard situation
The LA Clippers face a gaping problem at point guard in the offseason. While Paul George and Kawhi Leonard can do the majority of ball-handling in the playoffs, they need a floor general to run the offense and take away the pressure.
Reggie Jackson was terrific in the postseason at the point but his contract is likely unattainable given his performances and the Clippers' lack of cap space. They can only hope he does not receive more than the Early Bird Rights offer they could make of around $10m. Patrick Beverley, meanwhile, was a menace on defense once again in the playoffs and is a dogged competitor. However, his offensive deficiencies limit the overall impact he can have on a game.
Then there is Rajon Rondo, who, like Beverley, is on an expiring contract and could be used in a trade deal. Although he has championship experience and a high basketball IQ, Ty Lue barely used the veteran in the playoffs.
Although the LA Clippers need to sort out their point guard problem, they will likely have little room to work with. There will be plenty of guards available on the free agency market, but with their lack of cap space, the Clippers will be hoping they can somehow keep Jackson as their best option currently.