In the first installment of the Clippers mailbag, I’ll be answering hard-pressed Clipper- related questions from fans on Twitter. Let’s get started:

Well Adam, the Irving-for-CP3 trade is the big blockbuster that would give the Clippers a completely new look. If that trade is made, that means Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan would have to stay put. The positives of this trade for the Clippers is that they would have a really good young core. All three (Irvin, Griffin, Jordan) would be under 30, so the window to compete for the championship would be extended a lot longer than it is currently. A trade for Irving would signify a bit of a youth movement, which would mean there may be room for some vets who would provide leadership they will be losing by trading Paul.

As constructed, the Clippers can’t win a championship. It’s been proven with the early playoff exits. Heck, they didn’t even reach a conference final yet. The big three have to be split up. At least one of them will have to be moved to change the team dynamic. The easiest piece to move would be Blake Griffin. He will net the biggest return. It’s more than realistic to demand multiple high draft picks, one promising young player (like Boston’s Jae Crowder), and an All-Star caliber player (ex. Isaiah Thomas). Chris Paul can certainly get you a nice return also, but due to his age (31) it won’t be nearly as much as Griffin would. What teams like the Golden State Warriors have proven is that the style of play is evolving: small ball is taking over. The need for a player like Jordan, who can’t shoot, has diminished significantly. Best bet is to try to trade the player you’d like to keep the most–Griffin.

@ClipperBeat Who would be your ideal (realistic) free agent signing this summer?

  • Robert Flom (@RichHomieFlom)

Robert, we have to consider the money the Clippers will have available. The Clips are in bad shape when it comes to salary cap space. As of now, they are $21 million over the cap. Assuming they let Jamal Crawford and Jeff Green walk, and hope that Cole Aldrich, Wes Johnson, and Austin Rivers opt out then they will find themselves with about $10 million cap room. That could put them in the conversation for veteran player like Luol Deng. Now, would Deng be much of an upgrade over all those guys? These are questions the Clippers brass will have to answer. No matter what they do, they will have to be creative.

The backup center position was a bright spot for the Clippers this season. Cole Aldrich did a really nice job playing behind Jordan. He does have an opt out this offseason. The Clippers are hoping he stays on the books. His contract is slated to roughly pay him $1.2 million, he’s sure to test the market and will certainly make at least double that. If Aldrich decides to leave, names such as Miles Plumlee (the lesser Plumlee brother), or an Amare Stoudemire, a veteran on his last legs would be potential Clipper targets. The options aren’t very good.

 

If you have any more Clippers questions, tweet me @ClipperBeat.

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