"If anybody has any ways of doing it," the coach and president of basketball operations said Monday at his team's practice facility, "I'd love to know."
No problem. Always here to help.
It was pretty apparent after the Clippers zoomed into the off-season like a cabdriver after a five-cent tip that some significant changes are in order.
Yes, it would be great if unrestricted free agent
But that's not going to be nearly enough to nudge the Clippers into the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history given their current shortcomings. They need a pure backup point guard, a younger perimeter defender and a defense-oriented backup big man.
It's going to take some creative maneuvering considering the Clippers' bloated payroll and limited financial resources. Rivers should keep a corner table at Spago Beverly Hills booked for most of July to conduct his free-agent wooing (try the 2010 Chateau Petrus at $8,000 a bottle, which might just close the deal).
Here are several free-agent targets and trade proposals that could keep the Clippers playing into June 2016:
Paul Pierce: This would require Pierce declining his $5.5-million player option with the
The Clippers tried to add the veteran small forward last summer but committed their mid-level exception to
DeMarre Carroll: The unrestricted forward might be a tough get considering he has earned a big raise from his $2.5-million salary this season with the fast-rising
Arron Afflalo: The former UCLA standout would have to decline his player option for $7.75 million with Portland and take a steep discount, though it would make some sense considering his minutes dwindled in the playoffs with the
Tayshaun Prince: This would be a win-win considering the unrestricted forward wants to finish his career with a contending team and the Clippers could use his defensive toughness and galvanizing locker-room presence. Because he's no longer a game-changer at 35, the Compton native probably would consider accepting a veteran's minimum contract to come home.
Aaron Brooks: The unrestricted point guard's stock took a hit when he averaged only 4.5 points a game in the playoffs for the
Mike Dunleavy: Chicago's desire to keep
Mo Williams: The unrestricted point guard was not happy being Paul's backup three years ago but probably would accept that role after having spent last season in the NBA hinterlands of Minnesota and Charlotte. The former All-Star showed two years ago how valuable he could be as a reserve with Portland.
Luc Mbah a Moute: The unrestricted forward formerly known as Richard would be a prince of a pickup, and not just because he is actually a prince in his native Cameroon. He's a great defender, respected teammate and is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 9.9 points a game.
Alexis Ajinca: The 7-footer proved to be better — and cheaper — than
Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes and a conditional 2019 first-round draft pick for Denver's Wilson Chandler and
Crawford, Barnes and a first-round draft pick for Chicago's