The Clippers have had three cracks at it with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan all in their primes, and they’re not afraid to admit the fourth could be their last — that another flameout will force them to ask whether the core has grown stale. “We’re right on the borderline,” Doc Rivers tells Grantland during a long sit-down at his office. “I have no problem saying that. I’m a believer that teams can get stale. After a while, you don’t win. It just doesn’t work. We’re right at the edge. Oklahoma City is on the edge. Memphis, too. We just have to accept it.”
Paul is movable even amid a glut of point guards, but he’s good only for the “win now” types, and dealing him would amount to a complete reconstruction of how L.A. plays. Rivers isn’t quite ready to think about specific changes yet, even as he acknowledges he might have to be in seven or eight months. “We’re all on that edge together,” he says. “I believe we’re gonna be really good. But if we’re not, it depends on how we play, and what the reason is. That’s what would make you make a big decision.”