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Everyone Wave Goodbye To The Clippers As They Are Now Officially Eliminated From Playoff Contention

Los Angeles Clippers v Sacramento Kings

And then there were 9. We’ve been talking for weeks about how crazy the 4-10 playoff seeds are in the West, and we knew that over these last few days there were going to be a couple teams that would be left on the outside looking in. Well after their 134-115 loss to the Nuggets this afternoon, the Clippers are officially Lottery bound.

This was a rough year for the Clippers, mostly because they never really got to see what this team looked like healthy. Danilo Gallinari, a guy they paid big money for last summer played just 21 games. Milos Teodosic battled stuff all year and played just 45, same with Austin Rivers who played 59.

Then they blew their team up by trading Blake Griffin and one of the main pieces of that return, Avery Bradley, played only 6 games as a Clipper before undergoing season ending surgery. This Clippers season will always be a what if season in my mind because we have no idea if it would have worked had their original team stayed healthy. The fact that they finished 42-38 and were in contention for a playoff spot for this long is actually sort of impressive. Despite the disappointing ending there were also plenty of surprises for this team. Lou Williams had an incredible season and should win the 6th Man Of The Year award. Montrezl Harrell proved to be a legit big man and I thought Austin Rivers took a step in the right direction in terms of his own development.

Having said that, this is a big summer for the Clippers as a franchise. They have decisions to make in regards to Harrell, who is a RFA this summer, and I would imagine a lot of what they do depends on what the hell DeAndre Jordan ends up doing. He has a player option for next year at 24M before he becomes an unrestricted FA next summer. If you’re him, are you sure you can get at least that much on the open market if you turn down your option? If you don’t, you could be given the Blake Griffin treatment and sent to Siberia. Austin Rivers also has a player option for $12M, and Milos one for $6.3M. Avery Bradley is also a FA this summer, who knows if he’s going to be back. Basically, this could be a disastrous offseason for the Clippers. As much as I like Tobias Harris, Gallo, Lou Williams and Boban, that’s not going to cut it in the West.

So while it’s too bad for their fans they didn’t earn the right to be swept by either HOU or GS, they sure did make for an entertaining last few months. Best of luck in the lottery, where they’re currently slated for the 13th pick.

P.S.

By no means do I hate Doc Rivers. In fact I am forever indebted to him for bringing me the only Celtics title I’ve seen with my own eyes in my lifetime. But I do get a great deal of pleasure knowing that he didn’t want to stay in Boston because he had no interest in a rebuild, and now he’s staring right at a rebuild only with much fewer assets/options. That’s just too bad.