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Key Offseason Decisions for Ousted Western Conference Playoff Teams

Out of the eight Western teams that made the playoffs this season, six of them have now cleaned out their lockers and are headed into the offseason. The process now begins for each team’s GM to build on this season’s success and attempt to improve their roster for next season.

So what decisions are these teams facing? Let’s have a look and see what may be the key decisions for the six Western Conference playoff teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs.



Los Angeles Clippers (3rd)
Record: 57-25
Pending Key Free Agents: Danny Granger (PO), Glen Davis (PO), Darren Collison (PO)

When you have two of the top ten players in basketball (Paul, Griffin) in your starting line-up, there generally is no big move that needs to be made. While dealing with Sterling saga, the Clippers will need to upgrade their three point shooting and their bench. Chances are Granger, Davis and Collison will all opt-out and leave Jamal Crawford to man the second unit.   The Clippers are on the cusp of contending for an NBA title and appear to be just one or two key pieces away. A decision on whether to sign Paul Pierce, who played for Rivers in Boston, is a possible move that come next postseason, can help carry that second unit with Crawford.


Houston Rockets (4th)
Record: 54-28
Pending Key Free Agents: Chandler Parsons (TO)

 You can guarantee that David Morey will exercise the team option on Parsons which will ensure that the same team is pretty much back next season. The question that the Rockets need ask is whether their core unit of Howard, Harden and Parsons can lead them to a championship? We know that Howard and Harden are not going anywhere, but do you move Parsons? Packaging Parsons and the often mentioned Omer Asik should provide a good return for Houston. The hot rumour right now is Houston trading for Kevin Love, but what if Morey could swing a sign-in trade for Luol Deng? I believe a Howard, Harden and Deng trio would be an upgrade for the Rockets in the loaded West.

Here is a trade scenario below that could get it done.


Portland Trailblazers (5th)
Record: 54-28
Pending Key Free Agents: Mo Williams (PO)

Much like the Clippers, Portland has two all-star talents in their starting unit with Lillard and Aldridge. Throw in the much underrated Nicholas Batum and the Blazers decisions this offseason will likely fall in the area of upgrading their second unit; primarily on the front line. When Thomas Robinson, Joel Freeland and Meyers Leonard are your back-up big men, you know improvements will need to be made.  The Blazers will hope that Mo Williams opts out, which will free up salary to possibly sign the likes of a Kris Humphries or Jordan Hill in free agency.


Golden State Warriors (6th)
Record: 51-31
Pending Key Free Agents: Steve Blake (U), Jermaine O’Neal (U), Jordan Crawford (R)

Another team being mentioned as a landing spot for Kevin Love, the Warriors have a ton of talent, but were unable to live up to the hype this season. They now have first time head coach Steve Kerr on the bench, and are a team that next season will have championship aspirations. Warriors GM, Bob Myers, will need to decide if swinging for the fences with a big trade makes sense. They have good pieces; Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Lee and Bogut are a solid starting five on paper, and with Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green coming off the bench, the Warriors may just need one more year together to take that next step.


Memphis Grizzlies (7th)
Record: 50-32
Pending Key Free Agents: Zach Randolph (PO), Mike Miller (U)

With the recent shakeup in the Grizzlies front office, the top decision will be based on whether Zach Randolph decides to either opt-in or test free agency. If he opts in, newly appointed head of basketball operations Chris Wallace will need to decide if he wants to go into next season with the same trio of Gasol, Randolph and Conley; or if he would rather attempt a trade to move Randolph and bring in a fresh face? Randolph is an automatic double-double on most nights, but as we seen during the playoffs, he does have mental lapses that leaves team executives scratching their heads.  I have a feeling the Grizzlies are hoping he makes their decision a lot easier by opting out.


Dallas Mavericks (8th)
Record: 49-33
Pending Key Free Agents: Dirk Nowitzki (U), Vince Carter (U), Devin Harris (U), Shawn Marion (U)

The Mavericks are at a fork in the road. Do they blow up the roster, or make one final push while Dirk still has something left in the tank. They will likely re-sign Nowitzki to a three-year-deal so he can finish his hall of fame career in Dallas, but can they add one more key piece to give them a title shot next season? What if Chris Bosh opts out in Miami, do you throw a max contract his way to bring him home to Dallas? I have a feeling that Mark Cuban & CO. feel they owe it to Dirk for one more run, but in the loaded West, I’m not sure they will be able to make that step next season.


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Main Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


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