Thanks in part to a major injury, the Los Angeles Clippers' season came to a disappointing end in the NBA playoffs.
It might be the end of an era in Los Angeles, as Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick, among others, all could become free agents this summer.
The biggest change in L.A. this summer, however, should come at the top. Here are three major moves the Clippers can make to try to alleviate their postseason curse.
Fire Doc Rivers
All indications are this move is off the table. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has faith in Rivers as both a coach and a front-office executive, especially now that he has help from Lawrence Frank on the latter front.
And if that's the case, Los Angeles must be fine with constant underachievement.
The game has passed Rivers by as a coach. He relied on Tom Thibodeau's defense and his personal connection to Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to lead the Celtics to a championship before joining the Clippers, and he never added to his repertoire.
Then, he became the team's de facto GM and slipped further as a coach, while his poor roster-building doomed the team to repeated early postseason exits.
Even worse, Rivers wasn't able to form that same bond with Los Angeles' Big Three. He's never made this team better than the sum of its parts, which is his most important job as head coach.
Now, since Ballmer trusts Rivers, we're probably not getting rid of him completely even in the best-case scenario. That's fine. We can work with this.
The Clippers have Frank as executive vice president of basketball operations. We can hand him the major basketball decisions, promote Rivers to a position consulting on the organization's operations on a higher level and replace him on the bench. Everybody wins!
Jeff Van Gundy is out there just waiting for an opportunity to show off everything he's learned by watching the NBA from afar for the past decade. I'd trust him to take this team to the promised land over Rivers in a heartbeat.
Of course he is; that deal is roughly $50 million more than any other team can offer, and Paul loves the city.
And for their part, the Clippers have to ensure CP3 retires in L.A. He's the superstar keeping this team relevant and in Finals contention, even as it fails to meet expectations. If the Clippers let Paul go, they're deciding to implode the whole thing.
Re-signing J.J. Redick would be nice, too, but Paul is the alpha and the omega for Los Angeles. No matter what the Clippers want to do with their remaining free agents, the point guard has to be back next season.
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Re-sign Blake Griffin, but be ready to trade him
A core of Paul and DeAndre Jordan is enough to keep the Clippers relevant. Add shooters around those two, and you have a potential title contender.
Griffin is the big question mark. The Clippers could let him walk and free up a bit of cap space, but it's probably not enough to add the kind of players they need to take the next step. That's doubly true if Rivers stays in a decision-making role.
Some have suggested a sign-and-trade with the Pacers for Paul George. There's little incentive for Griffin to agree to such a move, however, since the new NBA rules offer no advantage for a free agent in a sign-and-trade unless his preferred destination is over the salary cap.
We're guessing Griffin doesn't really want to go to a George-less Pacers team, so that's out. A sign-and-trade to the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony could work, although it seems rather unlikely as well.
The long-term move for the Clippers is to bring Griffin back. For how long remains to be seen. He'd be eligible for a trade before next year's deadline, at which point L.A. could offer him for George or Melo, assuming they don't move this offseason.
Or the Clippers could get creative and move Griffin for a package of several players and picks, trying to balance competing for the remainder of Paul's peak with being able to stay competitive for years to come.
Either way, Griffin has the most value to Los Angeles if he's back next season. After that, anything is possible.