STAYING: Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul, JJ Redick, Austin Rivers and CJ Wilcox.
ADDED: Cole Aldrich (New York), Branden Dawson (Michigan State), Chuck Hayes (Toronto), Wesley Johnson (LA Lakers), Paul Pierce (Washington), Pablo Prigioni (Houston), Josh Smith (Houston) and Lance Stephenson (Charlotte).
GONE: Glen Davis (Free Agent), Jordan Hamilton (Krasny Oktyabr), Spencer Hawes (Charlotte), Lester Hudson (Liaoning Flying Leopards), Dahntay Jones (Brooklyn), Hidayet Turkoglu (Free Agent) and Ekpe Udoh (Fenerbahce Ulker).
STRENGTHS: So much talent that’s almost unfair … Both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin belong in the discussion when talking about the best players at their respective positions … Paul is the NBA’s top PG in the last decade … Almost unparalleled combination of playmaking and shot-making abilities … Griffin is a superior athlete with an increasingly refined offensive game … Add DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers have the most athletic big man duo in the NBA by far … Jordan gives the team another dimension defensively … Plenty of offensive firepower on the wings with JJ Redick, Jamal Crawford, Lance Stephenson and Paul Pierce … Scoring the ball is not going to be a problem for this team … They can do damage in so many different ways … Pierce’s championship experience and clutch play could be great assets come playoff time … Depth is much improved with Josh Smith and Pierce coming off the bench … Could the DeAndre Jordan free agency episode bring the team’s stars together?
WEAKNESSES: It’s going to be a very difficult rotation to handle and you have to be somewhat concerned about team chemistry … Logjam at the shooting guard spot with Stephenson, Redick and Crawford, who doesn’t sound like a happy camper … Questions at the backup point guard position with the inconsistent Austin Rivers and 38-year-old Pablo Prigioni behind Paul … Terrible team from the free-throw line … You know hack-a-Jordan and/or hack-a-Josh are happening when the stakes are high … They have yet to prove they have the competitive chops of other Western powers … Too much ego and confidence for their own good? … Several playoff meltdowns in the last few seasons … Do we have a pattern?
PREDICTION: 2nd in the Pacific Division / 4th in the Western Conference.