Los Angeles Clippers Contenders (on Paper)!
But they completely floundered after taking a commanding 2-0 series lead against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. Was it then-coach Vinny Del Negro's fault? Was it Paul's fault? Griffin's? Well, it really doesn't matter because they proved one thing: they were not contenders. "On paper" means absolutely nothing. But here we are once again.
The Clips made moves this offseason - and it was not just re-signing Chris Paul (5 years, $107 Mil). It was not just 'trading' for Doc Rivers to be their new coach. They shipped Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe (their most prized possession) in exchange for Jared Dudley and JJ Redick, two proven floor spacers that will provide Paul with consistent options on the perimeter and the floor spacing necessary for Blake Griffin and (gasp) DeAndre Jordan to do work on the block.
That paragraph above? Speculative. Purely. Can this all happen? It should. But who really knows. The Clippers didn't stop there however. They signed Darren Collison, Paul's former backup in New Orleans, to do just that in Clipperland - a big upgrade from the oft-injured Chauncey Billups. Jamal Crawford is also still under contract while the re-singing of Matt Barnes solidifies this bench as one of the top in the league (on paper, once again). Byron Mullens (who is definitely an upgrade over the lost soul of lamar Odom) and Ryan Hollins round out the big men on this bench.
Contenders on paper. Weren't the Lakers just that last year. *sigh* We'll just have to wait and see - but pure speculation is fun. Especially for fans. Specifically for fans writing about them.