Jordan, Paul & Griffin .

Doc Rivers insists the L.A. Clippers will not trade its star players

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After the Los Angeles Clippers were defeated in their first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in six games, the focus immediately shifted towards the future of the team.

Devastating injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin ended the franchise's hopes of securing a first ever championship this season and allowed the Blazers to take advantage of the situation and advance to the Western Conference semi-finals.

Speculation has emerged that the Clippers' roster may look different next year with some changes in the offing potentially involving the team's big three of Paul, Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan.

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However, head coach, Doc Rivers - who is also the president of basketball operations - has moved quickly to dismiss the idea that the team is looking to make wholesale changes in the offseason, especially to its prized assets.

Speaking at the team's exit interviews after being eliminated from the postseason, Rivers said: "I like our core and I like our bench, which was really good this year.

"I think they all want to come back, and we're going to make a strong effort to bring all our guys back. The good news about the free-agent guys who are opting out on their contracts -- as they should, because everyone knows what we can spend and what we can't spend -- I can't find one who doesn't want to be here."

Los Angeles Clippers v Denver Nuggets


The Clippers enjoyed another campaign of 50 wins or more under Rivers, but once again failed to reach their target, albeit with extenuating circumstances this time around.

Injuries have been the story of the Clippers' year with Griffin missing 41 games in the regular season with the quad injury that ultimately ended his playoffs early.

If the L.A. based franchise was healthy throughout the year, there's no telling how far they could've gone.

Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four

"We're close, and we know that," Rivers said. "We have a priority of trying to just keep making our team better. Obviously because of the injuries -- Blake's in particular -- we literally don't know what we could have done. Even during the playoffs, he still wasn't 100 percent."

The Clippers addressed their problem from the previous campaign of not having enough production off the bench and their second unit was led by the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford in that regard.

Rivers, though, feels it will be more difficult in this offseason to identify where the team's problems lie and where they can improve due to the health issues they have had to deal with.

"I would love to have seen us 100 percent healthy going into the season," said Rivers. "And if we hadn't have won it then [under those circumstances], you would have known exactly what you need to do. So now it's more guesswork. But I think we have a pretty good idea of what to do."

The L.A. Clippers head coach himself will be under pressure this summer after another season of failing to fulfil expectations despite being given so much power within the organisation. The bad luck of this season should allow him another year in the role, but it will be a big offseason for the former Boston Celtics coach.

Western Conference
Chris Paul
LA Clippers
Pacific Division
Blake Griffin

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