The LA Clippers did everything it took to keep their core group together this summer. They practically kidnapped DeAndre Jordan, keeping the young star in a position where he’ll always be second fiddle to Blake Griffin and Chris Paul instead of letting him earn $80 million bucks and top billing in Dallas. Yup, Doc Rivers and his squad are a crafty, merciless bunch — even if they don’t always show it in the playoffs.
But this season should be — must be, right Steve Ballmer? — different. The Clippers are built for now, not later. And nothing says this more than the acquisition of 38-year-old veteran (and chief Jordan kidnapper) Paul Pierce, who Rivers has already coached to a championship. Whether the Clippers can move beyond a revamped San Antonio Spurs this season (as they did in last year’s playoffs) remains to be seen. But the Clippers may have the most lethal offensive bench in the league. If Pierce comes off the bench, they could play Lance Stephenson, Jamal Crawford, Josh Smith and coach’s son Austin Rivers as a full five sub platoon. (Or even Wesley Johnson in Pierce’s slot.) Not saying that five could defend like All-Stars, but that’s a lot of guys who can score.