The Los Angeles Clippers have shown that they’re serious about making a run at the championship over the next couple of years by assembling what seems to be a good, cohesive squad.
Which is great because they’re essentially stuck with this team for the next two years.
Sure, having basically the same team for a few years isn’t bad, and in fact has helped organizations win back-to-back championships in recent history.
But the Clippers have nearly taken themselves completely out of the running for the highly anticipated 2014 free-agent and draft class.
|Player||Cap Hit||2013-14||2014-15||2015-16||2016-17||2017-18||Signed Using||Guaranteed|
|Chris Paul*||$18,668,431||$18,668,431||$20,068,563||$21,468,696||$22,868,828||$24,268,960||Bird Rights||$83,074,518|
|Blake Griffin*||$16,441,500||$16,441,500||$17,674,612||$18,907,725||$20,140,838||$21,373,950||Bird Rights||$94,538,625|
|DeAndre Jordan*||$10,986,550||$10,986,550||$11,440,124||Bird Rights||$22,426,674|
|J.J. Redick*||$6,300,000||$6,300,000||$6,583,500||$6,867,000||$7,150,500||Bird Rights||$26,901,000|
|Jared Dudley*||$4,250,000||$4,250,000||$4,250,000||$4,250,000||Bird Rights||$12,750,000|
|Willie Green*||$1,399,507||$1,399,507||$1,448,490||Non Bird Rights||$1,399,507|
|Reggie Bullock*||$1,149,000||$1,149,000||$1,200,720||$1,252,440||$2,255,644||1st Round Pick||$2,349,720|
|Ryan Hollins*||$884,293||$1,186,459||Minimum Salary||$884,293|
A quick look at their payroll reveals a few things. The first is that DeAndre Jordan is making a lot of money. He’s a young big man with lots of energy and nearly no defensive instincts. By the numbers, what you get for $10-11 million per year over the next two years is a man who scored a career high 8.8 points points game in 24.5 minutes last season. He also averaged 7.2 rebounds and is a non-factor at the ends of games thanks to his 38 percent success rate at the free-throw line.
With all that considered, he has a presence that basketball numbers can’t quantify, but those are still pretty sorry numbers for that paycheck.
So, if they can schelp him off to someone, they can probably find a comparable center for half the price. Since he’d be an expiring contract in 2014-15, it’s not unlikely that someone take Jordan.
Another huge cap suck is Blake Griffin’s $94,538,625 guaranteed over the next five years. Despite the fact that Griffin has an unexplainable reputation for being soft, the Clippers don’t win half of their games without him working in tandem with Chris Paul. However, it’s hard to overlook his giant contract, and there were even talks that he was involved in some trade packages this offseason, specifically a sign-and-trade to bring Dwight Howard to the Clips.
That being said, Donald Sterling could very well look at these millions one day and decide Griffin needs to be traded since he’s one skill step behind Paul.
Also, you’ll notice there are only 11 guys on the roster as of now, because I don’t run basketball-reference.com and I can’t make them update it.
The people not on this are Byron Mullens, who signed a two-year, $2 million contract, again taking up money and a roster spot in 2014, and Maalik Wayns, who played for the team last year and participated in summer league, but it’s not clear if he’s been offered a multi-year deal.
So, Clippers fans, I hope you’re happy with your team (and really, there’s not much reason not to be), since you’ll be cheering them on for a while.