Los Angeles Clippers owner, Steve Ballmer, has made it clear that they want to bring back Chris Paul and Blake Griffin when they hit the free agent market. This should not come as a surprise at all. Everyone knows that these two are the clear-cut superstars on the team and the Clippers would be crazy to just let them walk away. Ballmer even said that any amount of money to bring them back is fine with him. However, that’s not exactly the biggest problem when it comes to getting these guys to stay in LA.
Year after year, the Clippers are supposed to “take that next step,” and we never see them advance to the Western Conference Finals. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin continue to be a top-level duo, but so many attempts to get to the Finals with nothing to show for it can get very old.
Plenty of teams have broken up and restarted after failing to advance for so many years. The most recent example is obviously Kevin Durant moving on from Oklahoma City to Golden State. LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami and then finally won a couple of championships. As CBS Sports pointed out, even Doc Rivers talked about rosters getting stale and then moving on from their current situation.
What this means is that the Clippers should be worried about getting better talent to surround Griffin and Paul. They both know that they’re going to get their money either way. What’s going to lure them to a team is their chances of winning a title, especially for Chris Paul, who is entering his twelfth season. They want to know that the GM of the team will do what he can to make sure they are in the best position possible to compete with the likes of Golden State and Cleveland.
In other words, Ballmer should be throwing a lot of money at some top notch free agents to come play alongside these guys. A small forward that can come in and be an impact player right away is going to look a lot better than just Paul Pierce and Wesley Johnson. Speights and Bass were nice additions for the bench, but they’ll also need another scorer off the bench so that Jamal Crawford isn’t the only one.
Any player would love some more money, but the ultra competitive ones revere rings as priceless. If you don’t know how bad Chris Paul wants to get his ring, instead of continuing to make jokes about his postseason career, you should just take a minute to listen to him speak on JJ Redick’s podcast.