Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are two of the main core for “Lob City” with the Los Angeles Clippers. Their head coach Doc Rivers admitted that the pairs’ pending free agency after the season is something that they have to deal with eventually.
The veteran mentor also addressed the Griffin trade rumors saying it was just all made up from the media.
“We knew none of it was true. We figured that was one of you guys starting these rumors here in Boston. I was trying to find out who it was…” Rivers said in an interview with ESPN’s Chris Forsberg about trading their starting power forward.
“No, it happens, unfortunately. Blake and [Chris Paul] are free agents [after this season]. Just like last year Oklahoma [City] had to deal with that, now it’s our turn.”
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Rivers also addressed the status of veteran Paul Pierce and if he’ll retire or return to the Clippers for another year. Rivers said that Pierce is still unsure of his decision but will welcome him back if he shows up for the team’s training camp.
The biggest news out of Rivers’ recent interview is that they are sticking with Griffin, who will become an unrestricted free agent. Many NBA rumors have mentioned Griffin linked to the Boston Celtics, Rivers’ former team.
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul have “early termination” options in their contract in 2017-2018 and both are expected to opt out and get long-term contracts either from the Clippers or other teams. Both will be unrestricted free agents, so there is worry from Rivers and the Clippers’ part about losing their stars.
The L.A. team is still considered one of the better teams in the Western Conference and should make the playoffs. However, if they fail early in the postseason again, rebuilding the team could be the best option for the team, which is already old compared to their counterparts.
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If the Clippers also struggle during the early part of the regular season, both Blake Griffin’s and Chris Paul’s names will be mentioned in NBA rumors. Los Angeles might trade both so they can get value for them before they hit free agency in 2018.
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