Change is coming for the Clippers - but what kind? | No Cap Room
Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer and senior NBA writer Dan Devine discuss what’s next for Los Angeles and what to do with their oft-injured stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Hear the full conversation on “No Cap Room” - and subscribe to Ball Don’t Like on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.
JAKE FISCHER: The one thing we know for sure about the Clippers now that they've lost 4-1 to Phoenix is that something's going to happen. They're not just going to sit on their hands and run this thing back. There's got to be some type of adjustment made. There's plenty of rumblings in the ether about do you split Kawhi and Paul George with their contract extensions coming up. And a $300 million payroll that's never amounted to anything outside of a Western Conference appearance.
DAN DEVINE: Which in fairness is not nothing considering that franchise had never been past a second round before. You got at least give them that.
- You have to. There's been plenty of conversation about the futures of both Tyronn Lue and the front office. He told reporters after the loss that he plans on coming back. There's a long off season to be put to play. So we'll see how that all unfolds. I mean, I definitely think there was some contrast in opinion let's say between at least Ty Lue and the front office of what they were looking for at the deadline.
DAN DEVINE: We've now spent four years waiting for the realized version of this team. And I don't think you need to assign any sort of moral failing to it for not coming to fruition. And there have been people-- very popular, and loud, and well paid peoplE-- that have talked about whether or not people should retire, or be traded, or be forced out. And I mean, listen. It's not like I think Kawhi Leonard doesn't like playing basketball. I think he really likes it. He probably has a much-- or I'm sure he has a much better sense of what is great for his body than anybody else.
I just don't know how you build on that level of uncertainty. How you continually construct rosters that have to operate one way when you have everybody, and then another way when you have everybody minus 1. And then another way when you have everybody minus 2. I don't I don't know how you can do that sustainably over a long period of time without I guess being like, I don't know, like a Manchester City level of galactico. And saying we're just going to run like $600 million payrolls to have as many guys.
JAKE FISCHER: Which Steve Ballmer can do. Which Steve Ballmer could do. Everyone pushes back on any type-- they're going to push back. But that's the obvious counterpoint to lob during any conversation that I've had with an NBA person about the Clippers. It's just, well, Steve Ballmer could just decide, screw it. I'm cutting the check.
DAN DEVINE: I don't know how you can make a long term plan when it seems like the short term plan changes every other night seemingly without maybe the coach always knowing that it's going to change. Or the other executives always knowing that it's going to change based on health and availability.