The Los Angeles Clippers face a pivotal summer, with star players Blake Griffin and Chris Paul both hitting the free agency market.
Both players could seek new homes, leaving the Clippers high and dry should they feel it's time to move on. LA hasn't advanced beyond the second round despite making the playoffs in each of the last six seasons. They were eliminated in the first round in their last two playoff runs.
That could be a determining factor for an end-of-his prime Paul or middle-of-his-prime Griffin, both looking to secure their legacies. The Clippers are definitely in a tight spot even if they're considered the favorites to keep both of their stars. One big change could bolster their efforts, though.
The Clippers are making a major push to land living NBA legend Jerry West this summer, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. West's contract with the Warriors expires in July, putting his role as an adviser in Golden State's front office in question.
This would be a huge signing for the Clippers, with West's resume as an executive impressive as anyone they could bring in this summer. It would also give the Clippers front office a much-needed additional voice, balancing out the control and responsibilities of coach and president Doc Rivers.
LA seems serious about their pursuit of West, too. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and Rivers have discussed the possibility with West already, according to Stein. West joining the Clippers has evolved from a passing idea into an actual discussion between both parties.
Leaving the Warriors would be a big decision for West, though. The team is set to contend for championships for years, allowing a chance for the legend to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. That could also be motivation for him to leave, depending on how you look at it.
It's clear Golden State's potential has been fully realized, reaching its peak when Kevin Durant was signed last summer. The Clippers are still a work in progress, but they have some fascinating pieces to work with if they can retain both Griffin and Paul this summer.
Landing West could help their case to both superstars, bringing in a proven executive with NBA Hall of Fame credibility to help sell staying in Los Angeles as their best option. Warriors owner Joe Lacob has made it clear he wants West to return, but ultimately the decision falls in The Logo's court.