NBA Rumors: Doc Rivers Wants Los Angeles Clippers' Core To Stay Together Next Season
If it is up to him, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers wants his team's core to stay together next season even if their postseason campaign ends in another disappointment. LA is currently locked in a 1-1 series with the Jazz in the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs with the next two games scheduled in Utah.
Three of Rivers' four core players -- Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and JJ Redick -- are all set to become unrestricted free agents in the upcoming offseason. All of them are also expected to attract interest from other clubs, which could be tempting especially if the Clippers will get prematurely knocked out of the playoffs once again.
Together with center DeAndre Jordan, it is the foursome's sixth straight postseason appearance and they have never gone past the Western Conference semifinals. Fansided said that bringing the same players back next season "could be viewed as insanity behavior", and so speculations abound that the Clippers could finally choose to break up its core this summer.
However, Rivers told reporters in a recent interview that he will not give up with his current team and would like all of them to come back again next season. It should be noted, though, that Rivers will obviously not be the sole decision-maker when it comes to Paul, Griffin, and Redick's future.
"Let's say we don't win this year -- which I think we will, (but) let's say we don't. Do you give up on a 50-win team that has proven that they're really close (to winning it all), or do you hang in there and keep trying to maybe make changes around (the core)?" he said.
Rivers then mentioned the Jazz tandem of John Stockton and Karl Malone, who made the postseason in all their 18 years together without winning a single NBA title. The one-time NBA champion coach said that if Stockton and Malone did not stick together, then they would have never reached the Finals "late in their careers".
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