NBA / Jun 2, 2010 / 4:41 pm

3 Things the Los Angeles Clippers Have To Do This Summer

Eric Gordon (photo. Jeff Forney)

The Clippers might be able to do something this year. In basketball circles, that line is the log that clogs up the toilet at somebody’s house party. Every now and then it floats to the surface, and eventually it will go away, but nobody wants to admit it actually came out of them.

Well, here we are again with another talented-on-paper Clippers squad, a fresh start from the Dunleavy era, the official beginning of the Blake Griffin era, and some cap space. So … you know … the Clippers might be able to do something this year. But first they have some business to handle during the offseason:

1. Hire Kelvin Sampson
Always a tough position to fill. Any established NBA head coach with a decent track record probably doesn’t want to go anywhere near the Clippers; the owner is the basketball version of Al Davis, and the franchise has permanent second-class citizenship in its own city thanks to the Lakers. But because this is L.A. and the team has money, people still expect a big-name hire. The Clippers have to find a coach who needs them more than they need him; an up-and-coming assistant, an old dog looking to get back into the game, or somebody who needs to prove himself again. Sampson is the right guy. The former University of Oklahoma and Indiana University coach left the college game in disgrace, and since then has worked under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio and Scott Skiles in Milwaukee. Sampson will preach defense first — something this current Clippers roster needs — and he’s a respected mind in the basketball industry. He’s also close to Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon, having coached EJ at IU and having recruited Blake (and coached his brother) when he was with the Sooners. College coaches have a rep for flopping in the League, but Sampson’s situation is different. He actually coached at Oklahoma and Indiana, where he didn’t get a lot of All-American recruits but still won awards and made some noise in the NCAA Tournament. But more importantly, Sampson has been around the NBA lately and isn’t jumping straight from college, so he won’t be overwhelmed with how everything works.

2. Don’t get too excited about LeBron
Maybe a few months ago the Clips would have been in the running with the Knicks to land LeBron with the “you can be a global icon” sales pitch, but now I doubt it’ll happen for them. Following another postseason where his team fell short of expectations, LeBron can see now that the key to him running this League isn’t playing in a big city, it’s winning a championship. And sorry, but the Clippers just don’t have any championship pedigree whatsoever. At least LeBron is old enough to remember the Knicks being good in the ’90s; but for his entire life, the Clips have been OK at best, and mostly crappy. LeBron isn’t going to the Clips. But that doesn’t mean L.A. can’t take their chances with other big-name free agents. Dwyane Wade, for example, is a bright-lights/big-city guy. He might be ready to leave Miami in the dust and start his life over (and Ms. Union wouldn’t mind the move to Hollywood), and his potential supporting cast on the Clippers is honestly better than what he has with the Heat.

3. Sign Matt Barnes
The Clippers offense was 27th in the NBA in scoring, 27th in three-point percentage, 25th in free-throw attempts, and 28th in turnovers. And the defense wasn’t much better. This team could use a veteran defender to sic on the League’s elite scorers, and Barnes will be available at a reasonable price after opting out of his deal with Orlando. He’s not as good of a shooter as current starting SF Rasual Butler or as good of a scorer/athlete as Travis Outlaw, but Barnes is enough of a threat to at least spread the floor while Baron Davis, Gordon, Griffin and Chris Kaman take care of the offense. Barnes is a California guy who went to UCLA, and he has playoff experience. He’s a hustle player who can get the often-dead Clippers crowd going, and he’s a malleable complementary guy who won’t get in the way of the young stars. He’d be a perfect fit for this squad.

What do you think the Clippers have to do this summer?

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  • IR

    4. Sign Earl Watson.
    5. Pick Luke Babbitt with the 8th pick.

  • “Tha Boddy” The Only Wall John Will See Is When He Signs His Check!!!â„¢

    They should fold

  • isotope

    move down the street to Vegas

  • control

    This article should be titled: The only thing the LA Clips need to do this summer

    The body of the article should read:

    Get a new fucking owner.

    Just wrote the entire article for you, and you are welcome


    1)change their name
    2)change their jerseys
    3)move outta LA

    I think its time to face facts that the Clippers are cursed, sometimes the best thing to do is just to know when to give up.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Good call on Sampson. I think he would be a good fit there.

  • shiptar

    they actually have a good team, on paper.. If they sign a max player who is actually worth that money, they would equaly fight for the playoffs.

  • Chilirey

    1)SELL THE TEAM!! Donald T. is a Chump.
    2)change the name
    3)change their colors

  • M-Intellect

    Errm… You guys are real negative.

    Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Travis Outlaw, Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman, Drew Gooden, Rasual Butler and DeAndre Jordan and a max-level player is a good coach away from being EASILY a plaf-offs team.

    And to think they traded Zach and Marcus Camby for nothing. SMFH.

  • jzsmoove

    they need to cut ties with Baron Davis. I like B, but any team of his where he is top dog aint gonna cut it.

    Baron might be a good fit for the Lakers though. Replace Fisher with him and they got a crack at another championship caliber team. I hate this version of this Lakers (any Kobe-led lakers) but i’m jus saying it would be a good fit.

  • sh!tfaced

    The Clippers have always looked good on paper. If only basketball were played on paper, the Clips would be perennial contenders.

    4. Move to Seattle.
    5. Become the new Sonics.

  • Chilirey

    sign and trade Bynum/Farmar for BD/B.Griffin

    I live in LA and twice tried to ride when it was “Hip to Be A Clip!” They talk a good game but they will never win a chip.

  • Vinny

    I have to agree with control#4

  • Average Jose

    Chilrey must be high on drugs. That is the only way you anyone would think BD/B.Grif for Bynum/Farmar is fair. Bynum is injury prone and a complementary. B.Grif has an opportunity to become the next Karl Malone. Plus, although lacking in the leadership dept, Boom Dizzle has game, alot more game than Farmar. I do agree though that Boom Dizz would be a great point on a team with strong vet leadership such as the Lakos.

  • ab_40

    leave LA and become the seatle supersonics

  • M-Intellect

    BD at the Lakers would be ridiculous. Kobe and BD back-court?! 2 more rings…

  • Clipper 4 Life

    “I think its time to face facts that the Clippers are cursed, sometimes the best thing to do is just to know when to give up.”
    Sure. Why don’t the Chicago Cubs move too and change their name while they’re at it? By your logic, the Red Sox should have moved decades before their 2004 title. And all of Cleveland’s teams should have moved out of Ohio decades ago too.

    “B.Grif has an opportunity to become the next Karl Malone.”
    Or the next Amar’e at least.

  • K Dizzle

    “In basketball circles, that line is the log that clogs up the toilet at somebody’s house party. Every now and then it floats to the surface, and eventually it will go away, but nobody wants to admit it actually came out of them.”


    On “toilet” paper, the Clips should be better…

  • Big Island

    Control said it perfectly.

  • Scott

    Barnes could see MLE coin at least this year, he’s proving himself to be a quality player, especially for teams that want to do damage in the playoffs, the fact that he was one of the few Magic to show up for every game. Dude is a competitor with madd heart, hope he gets his wherever he ends up. Loved his reason for opting out.

  • rapTOr

    Damn Eric, still on that rookie money, huh?

  • Brazzle

    The clippers need to prayer to god, buy 2,000 rabbits feet and a shrunken head. And hope that somehow they are no longer cursed

  • http://nbainstl.blogspot.com StrengthSTL

    Move to St Louis and become the Stallions complete with Brown/Orange/White Jerseys.

    The Clips need to play it smart this offseason. Get Byron Scott to coach. If you’re the Clips you’d like to be on the come-up when Kobe’s done winning titles in about oh 2025 lol

    Nobody’s going to want to play in LA under the lakers shadow unless they can challenge them. Can the Clips build a contender overnight? No.

    You got Griffin, Kaman, Gordon, Blake a draft pick..be ready to contend in 4 years.


    “sign and trade Bynum/Farmar for BD/B.Griffin”

    Are you fucking kidding me? The LA Cripples may be hapless but they’re not stupid (at least we hope so).

    They need to sacrifice a virgin to break the curse. Too bad the only virgin in LA is AC Green.

  • 808

    I thought I was gonna be the only one to say it, but jzsmoove beat me to it. Good sht, j.

    Get rid of Baron Davis. Maybe it’s easier for me to say this since I’m not a Clips fan.

    I think you Clippers fans who would like to keep Baron Davis at your 1-spot are letting some emotional sht get in the way of logical thinking. Baron Davis puts up numbers (he also puts up a lot of shots). He also does a lot of flashy, cool streetball tricks. But he will never lead a team deep into the playoffs.

  • jimmhumm

    perfect fit for JOE JOHNSON. Wade ain’t leaving. LBJ ain’t coming. But JJ is out of the A.

  • brohaha

    joe johnson, dwayne wade are both epic. but how about rudy gay or dirk nowitzki at SF. they are both free agents too.

  • Amos Leak

    Gotta play Mardy Collins more…and find a solid backup shooting guard.

  • Chilirey

    Forbes Magazine researched the Clippers as the second worst all time winning percentage in among major US pro sports franchises. Only behind the Memphis Grizzles, please do a story on that….someone has got to call out that Chump!