Last season, the Los Angeles Clippers actually exceeded expectations by making their first Western Conference Finals in franchise history.
After doing so with a Kawhi-less team, the Clippers seem to be heading in the right direction, right?
Los Angeles Clippers Season Preview
Before the offseason had started, the Clippers knew that they had lacked flexibility in cap space. Really, they could only re-sign some of their players or trade to create some room. To begin with, the Clippers re-signed players like Kawhi Leonard, Reggie Jackson, and Nicolas Batum. Keeping both Jackson and Batum was great for the Clippers, but re-signing Leonard to a four-year deal was a massive win for the organization. Now the Clippers have both Leonard and Paul George locked up for the near future.
Other than re-signing Leonard, perhaps the biggest move they made was trading away Rajon Rondo, Patrick Beverley, and Daniel Oturu to the Memphis Grizzlies for Eric Bledsoe. Looking at this trade, it may be easy to think that the Clippers lost this trade and perhaps they did but they knew exactly what they were doing. By pulling the trigger on that trade, the Clippers were able to save over $30 million in luxury tax, as well as creating an $8 million trade exemption.
Finally, the Clippers selected three players in the NBA Draft: Keon Johnson, Jason Preston, and Brandon Boston Jr. They have some potential but we’re not exactly sure how they’ll be involved next season.
Los Angeles Clippers Preview – Expectations For This Season
Overall, the Clippers have a solid roster from top to bottom. The biggest question is whether or not Leonard will come back this season from his injury. We can expect George to have an MVP-like season with Leonard out, and expect players like Jackson, Batum, and Bledsoe to contribute in a big way.
This team was able to make it to the Western Conference Finals so it’s safe to say that their expectation should be to at least make the playoffs this time around. The conference got tougher and Leonard is most likely out for at least 75% of the regular season but this team is still talented. The Los Angeles Clippers are going to be a tough team to play, regardless of who they have on the court. They’re going to be a fun team to watch and they’re going to play hard every single night. That’s what we can expect from this team. In terms of the regular season, expect them to range from the fifth to eighth seed.
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