Jerry West, with some early moves into his tenure with the Clippers, is shaping up to be an early candidate for executive of the year. The Logo has swooped in and in a week changed the direction and face of the league’s most infamous franchise. Although, officially his role is that of a consultant, clouding his actual impact on the organization.
He has received a great deal of the credit for the rise of Golden State and attracting Kevin Durant, although as a newcomer to the Clip’s, does he have the same sway?
History says West is one of the best executives the leagues ever had, producing multiple dynasties over his career. Moreover, his accession to a basketball icon started when he was a player and has been cemented as an executive. In a vacuum, his rap sheet would give the impression that the Clippers got the best signing of free agency.
Video: Jerry West hugs Draymond Green and Kevin Durant as exuberant Warriors exit court pic.twitter.com/GFiIpaaQ0p
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) June 13, 2017
However, the teams moves since his hiring has at times been questionable. Off the cuff, the Chris Paul trade was an incredible deal for both sides. The Clippers received a war chest of players and a pick for a player they couldn’t resign anyway. An incredible triumph of the modern era. Then there was the Blake Griffin 5 year, 175 million contract.
The foremost representation of a bomb leaning over the edge of a cliff in an old cartoon. If it stays where it’s at everything will be okay, and the Clippers will survive. Although if it teeters too much, there it goes all the way down till it explodes along with the Clip’s hopes and dreams.
Then comes this Danilo Gallinari trade/singing that makes the Griffin signing somehow more frightening. For those who don’t know Gallinari and Griffin have become better known for their injury history than their play. Over the past three seasons, both Griffin and Galo have played a combined 68% of regular season games. Although that’s not all for Galo, who missed an entire season because of an ACL tear four years ago.
Griffin himself is still recovering from a toe injury from last season and makes you question what they think these moves mean for them. Already in their late 20’s the Clips have bet HUGE on two guys who more than likely aren’t going to get healthier. If they can’t stay on the floor how do they expect to be relevant in a conference that has vastly improved its self?
After the move of Paul, most outlets presumed the Clips would either let Griffin walk or slowly build around him. Clearly, they’ve done neither, and it appears as if they expect to compete now.
Given what has happened with the West, the Clippers may barely make the playoffs even if they stay healthy.
It’s never easy for a team to adjust to a new style of play, even harder when it’s a new group of players unfamiliar with each other. This seems more like an effort to remain relevant than a realistic attempt to progress. This could correlate with owner Steve Balmer’s plan to move the team into their own arena in the coming years.
Even with the signing of Milos Teodosic and Patrick Beverly the Clippers guard situation is concerning. The offensive limited DeAndre Jordan and timid shooting of Griffin makes for a tumultuous paint situation.
West will have to find a way to add players into this already cap strapped and look into trading Jordan. On Another big contract, the Clippers will be handicapped by the duo of Griffin and Jordan until one of them comes off the books.
That being said, with the Cap flattening out in the next few seasons, these large contracts of theirs aren’t going to get easier to trade. Trades sending out rookie contracts and first round picks will only make it harder to maintain this roster. They won’t have any alternatives than to sacrifice more picks to dump salaries and move on.