NBA Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Clippers to Move Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan This Summer?
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The Los Angeles Clippers suffered another early playoff exit this season, generating NBA trade rumors suggesting the team will likely part ways with at least one of their superstars — Chris Paul, Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan.
However, Clippers head coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers, whose team lost to the Portland Trail Blazers in six games in the opening round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs, said he is determined to keep their core intact despite having another disappointing season.
“I like our core and I like our bench, which was really good this year,” Rivers told reporters via ESPN. “I think they all want to come back, and we’re going to make a strong effort to bring all our guys back.”
The Clippers, who posted a 53-29 record during the regular season, were favored to beat the young Trail Blazers squad in their first-round series. However, injury bug hit the squad as Griffin and Paul went down in the crucial part of the series, leading to their 4-2 series defeat to Portland.
Rivers said that he expects Paul and Griffin, along with J.J. Redick, to recover fully in time for next training camp. The veteran coach said he is eager to see how far his team will go next season if all his players will be able to stay healthy for the entire year.
“I would love to have seen us 100 percent healthy going into the season,” Rivers said. “And if we hadn’t have won it then, you would have known exactly what you need to do. So now it’s more guesswork. But I think we have a pretty good idea of what to do.”
Aside from their big three, Rivers said that he expects 36-year-old guard Jamal Crawford and 39-year-old forward Paul Pierce to return next season. Pierce is reportedly considering retirement, but Rivers is confident that the 17-time All-Star will eventually decide to continue playing for the Clippers.
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