The trade of Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets, though ending a great era in Clippers history, leaves the team with some intriguing lineup options. More than ever, the Clippers have true depth. Assuming that JJ Redick departs as an unrestricted free agent, and Blake Griffin re-signs with the team, this is what the starting lineup could look like if the NBA season started tomorrow.
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DeAndre Jordan, Center
Entering his 10th year with the Clippers, the athletic rim protector will get the start at cetner for yet another season. Oddly enough despite losing CP3, with more players available to stretch the floor for the Clippers, DJ's lob-catching may skyrocket.
Blake Griffin, Power Forward
This is another no-brainer. The high-flying power foward has been improving his ball handling and jump shot, but it will be his constant highlight plays that will continue to help the Clippers rise.
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Acquring Dalilo Gallinari in a sign-and-trade with the Nuggets, the Clippers will get an instant spark plug in their offesne. Filling a long time need for LA, an, offensive threat on the wing, Gallinari will get the start at small forward. Last season, Gallinari averaged 18 points per game and shot 39% from three. Standing at 6 feet ten inches, he will be able to play PF and C in Clippers 'small ball.' With the ability to play three positions, Gallinari adds a dangerous dynamic to the Clippers offense.
Austin Rivers, Shooting Guard
As his game continues to grow and improve, Austin Rivers has become a veteran in the Clippers system. Why not start Lou Williams or Jamal Crawford here? Simple, they are both legends of the sixth-man spot, playing their best ball off the bench. If the Clippers want to play small-ball, they can move Rivers to point, Lou Will to SG, and Jamal Crawford to SF. The Clippers have options in the backcourt.
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Patrick Beverley, Point Guard
Coming off a career-high season in assists, rebounds, and steals, Patrick Beverley will assume the starting role at point guard. Like CP3, Beverley was named first-team All-NBA defensive team, and is known for his tenacious 94-foot defense. He may not have the true point guard abilities of a CP3, but with the floor-stretching options the Clippers now have, Beverley will fit right in.