Top Stories (archive1)

LA Clippers miss playoffs for first time since 2011

Lob City was disbanded with last summer’s trade of Chris Paul and the midseason dealing of Blake Griffin. Its end felt much more final on Saturday with the Clippers’ 134-115 loss to Denver.

The defeat meant LA would miss the playoffs for the first time since that core united in Los Angeles in 2011. It also marks the first time coach Doc Rivers will fail to make the postseason since 2007, when he manned a 24-win Boston Celtics team.

After five years of regular season success and postseason shortcomings, the Clippers shipped Paul to Houston last summer and re-engineered the team around Griffin. The results were middling, and LA quickly pivoted toward a more complete overhaul by trading the injury-prone forward to Detroit. Center DeAndre Jordan remains as the only All-Star from the most successful era in franchise history.

The future is murky for the less decorated team of Los Angeles. Jordan holds a 2018-19 player option for more than $24 million. It is up to the 29-year-old big man to decide if he wants to take that one-year guarantee or enter unrestricted free agency this summer, when only a handful of teams would have the cap space to pursue him. Point guards Milos Teodosic and Austin Rivers, as well as journeyman Wesley Johnson, also hold player options for next season.

Danilo Gallinari, the Clippers’ most notable trade acquisition last offseason, played in just 21 games this season due to injury. He is under contract through the 2019-20 campaign. Tobias Harris, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker and Boban Marjanovic all have one more year remaining on their respective deals.

The brightest spot of the Clippers’ season was sixth man Lou Williams. The 31-year-old guard enjoyed a career year, averaging 22.5 points per contest despite starting just 19 games, prompting LA to extend his contract through 2020-21.