The Clippers don’t look as good, as threatening as last season’s Clippers. Part of that may be locker room chemistry issues (although the players deny that). Part of that might be just poor execution at the end of the game.
But some of their problems are easy to put your fingers on — a lack of depth and the need for depth at the three.
Doc Rivers and the Clippers have been active in trying to find a trade partner to solve those latter two issues, but it’s not been easy because they are not flush with young assets that are the draws in trade partners. The one guy everyone asks the Clippers about it Jamal Crawford, but they are not interested in moving him, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
The Clippers continue to shop for a starting small forward, but have told at least one inquiring team that they do not intend to move valuable sixth man Jamal Crawford in the process, sources say. The Clippers have one of the least productive benches in the league as it is, and that problem would become even more pronounced if they moved Crawford. Coach and president Doc Rivers has few trade assets to work with, and the Clippers are hard-capped and thus don’t have much flexibility to take on salary.
The fantastic Clipper beat writer Dan Woike of the Orange County Register confirms this.
It’s going to be difficult for the Clippers to pull off a meaningful move. For one, as mentioned above, the guys they are willing to give up in a deal are not the guys anybody else wants. Second, after giving Spencer Hawes the mid-level exception this summer the Clippers face a hard cap of close to $80 million and they are nearly up against it already, they can’t really absorb salary in a deal.
The Clippers need to find some better play — more consistent defense, more creative end of game sets — from the guys on the roster. The Cavalry is not charging over the hill to save them.