The Los Angeles Clippers remain one of the NBA teams in the league that continue to stick to their current lineup. Despite the ever-changing style of basketball in the past seasons, Doc Rivers is consistently adamant in his starters. Hence, matches featuring the Los Angeles Clippers usually feature the big three: Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan.
With the Golden State Warriors looking to be unbeatable this NBA season and the San Antonio Spurs quietly attempting to overtake the Stephen Curry team, the Los Angeles Clippers must find a way to rise above both groups. That is, the Griffin squad must figure out means to beat the Draymond Green group and Tim Duncan team to hopefully snag a championship trophy. Sports analysts, however, feel that the Los Angeles Clippers might need to shake things up to get past the two top NBA teams in the Western Conference.
"We're right on the borderline," Rivers shared in an interview with Grantland, referring to the status of the Los Angeles Clippers. The head coach added, "I have no problem saying that. I'm a believer that teams can get stale. After a while, you don't win. It just doesn't work. We're right at the edge. Oklahoma City is on the edge. Memphis, too. We just have to accept it."
One of the biggest changes proposed to the Los Angeles Clippers is to break up its big three lineups. With Jordan, Paul or Griffin on the trading block, the NBA team could have a substantial cap space to sign up and coming stars in the group. While this might require the entire Los Angeles Clippers to regroup regarding veering from their tried and tested tactics, the entry of new members could potentially boost their chances of winning the title.
Among the three key players, sports analysts point to Griffin as the best trading chip for the NBA team. Given his contract and experience, the Los Angeles Clippers could cash in enough to sign either promising new stars or experienced small ball vets. Moreover, Zach Lowe of ESPN reveals that Rivers would choose Griffin over Jordan and Paul if the NBA team had to trade away one of the big three.
"Of the Clippers' three foundational stars, Griffin probably would net the highest return in a trade," said Lowe. He added, "Several league sources insist that if Doc Rivers, the Clippers coach, general manager, head chef and lead custodian, were forced to pick one of the three to flip, it would likely be Griffin -- in part because he knows Griffin would bring back the most. (He'd prefer to flip none, obviously.) Griffin is entering the late stages of his prime, and unless he learns to shoot 3s, his jumpy game might not age well. Rivers told me in September that another first- or second-round playoff loss might convince him to blow up the team."
Apart from his injuries this NBA season, Griffin is also facing an investigation regarding his behavior in Toronto. Earlier reports revealed that the power forward punched a staff member of the Los Angeles Clippers following an argument inside a restaurant. The incident, which extended outside the establishment, saw Griffin with an injured hand and the staff with a swollen face.
Rivers already expressed his disappointment over Griffin's behavior. While the Los Angeles Clippers head coach chastised the team for not focusing on the NBA season, he also shared that he is open to forgiveness.
"He [Griffin] feels awful about it, and he's let everyone know that," said Rivers via ESPN. The head coach added, "That's all you can do. You have to forgive people at some point. I believe that. We built Richard Nixon a library. I mean, my goodness. You forgive people. You really do. You kind of move on, and you build it back."