The Los Angeles Clippers have no choice but to tank

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Things are looking bleak for the Los Angeles Clippers. It may be time to finally enter tank mode.

In a young season, already cursed with injuries to key players such as Patrick Beverly, Milos Teodosic and Danilo Gallinari, the Los Angeles Clippers have now lost their most valuable player, Blake Griffin. With Griffin expected to miss the next two months of the season with a sprained MCL, the team’s season is effectively over.

Before this injury, the team was having a disappointing season, to say the least. Already having racked up nine consecutive losses in the first 20 games of the season, the post-Chris Paul Clippers were failing to live up expectations. T future of the Clipper’s season was grim.

This streak was snapped when the Los Angeles Clippers won three straight games in which Blake Griffin scored 26, 33 and 26 again. There was once again a small semblance of hope that the team could ride the greatness of Griffin, into a successful season.

With his recent injury, that hope has now vanished, leaving fans with nothing but heartbreak as they lament on the season that could have been. Now, with the team’s roster gutted and the season lost, it is time for the Clippers to tank.

To accept that the team must tank this season away. This means also coming to the realization that they have no choice but to trade Deandre Jordan and whoever else can net them a first-round pick. The only players on the roster who should be safe from being dealt are Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari.

Deandre Jordan is a great player, but only as a complementary piece to other high-level players. Sure, he can perform at an all-star level while playing alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but without a good facilitator on the floor with him, his talents would go to waste. This, along with the fact that Jordan is able to opt out of his deal after this season, makes now the perfect time to trade him.

Dealing Deandre Jordan can surely bring the team a first-round pick in return, and trading veteran guard Lou Williams may also be able to net the team a similar asset. If this possible scenario were to play out, and the Clippers were to enter the 2018 offseason with potentially three first-round picks, and $30 million of cap space dumped between the two players, they would be in a fantastic position to rebuild for the 2018-2019 season.

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The team will have a solid group of returning players to build around next season, but it is vital they use the cap space generates by dealing Deandre Jordan and Lou Williams to bring in a pair of new players. They should look to sign both a solid big to replace Jordan, and a starting caliber guard to play alongside Milos Teodosic next year.

Along with filling those two holes in free agency, it is essential that the team makes good use of their draft picks. If they can use these picks to bring in at least two solid rookies who can contribute off the bench, the roster will be in great shape.

Not only can these picks bolster the team’s bench for next season, they will also be the cornerstone of the team’s future.

Blake Griffin is 29 years of age, and not getting any younger. The team must start developing young talent now, so in four or five years when Griffin starts to decline, they will have the necessary players needed to lead the team into the future.

Next: How things can get even worse for the Clippers

In the end, no one likes to tank, but doing so this season will not only serve to improve next year’s roster, in an effort to take advantage of Griffin’s remaining prime years but may also set the team up for a bright future — if executed correctly.