Clippers executive gives a delusional message on team's future

Boulogne Levallois v Le Mans - LNB Pro A
Boulogne Levallois v Le Mans - LNB Pro A / Catherine Steenkeste/GettyImages

The LA Clippers are slowly becoming an unhinged sitcom. 

On Friday night, the team turned in an uninspiring effort in their game-six defeat, ending a tumultuous season. Kawhi Leonard's absence lowered expectations for the club facing a scorching Dallas Mavericks squad. The fact they let Kyrie Irving revitalize his "playoff killer" monicker eight years after its expiration date while allowing a barrage of open corner threes is embarrassing nonetheless. 

In a departure from the norm, the LA Clippers chose not to hold exit interviews, a practice followed by many franchises around the league. This decision, with one notable exception, left Lawrence Frank, President of the Clippers, to step up to the podium and close the chapter on the 2023–24 campaign. The result was a mind-numbing word vomit. 

Frank's first few lines were typical executive fodder. He was disappointed in the end goal, but there were signs of growth in various areas. He emphasized the team prioritizing the regular season and the stretches where they looked like a viable contender. Then, it was time to discuss the future.

He explained that his "intent" was to keep the core of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and James Harden together while acknowledging that the latter two have personal decisions to make this summer regarding their contract status. Despite their advanced age, Frank expects the trio to maintain a high level of play. Even with outside skepticism, he believes the club's title window is still open. 

Lawrence Franks' vision for the LA Clippers is blurry at best

Does Frank have a different league pass than the rest of us? Was he too busy networking during the games to watch the product on the floor? Did Steve Balmer threaten him to say this? Whatever the explanation, wanting to "run it back" with this group is inexplicable.

Extending Kawhi Leonard through 2027 was the first sign management was content with the team's nucleus. It was a move that signaled that ticket sales at the new Intuit Dome are more important than revitalizing this roster. 

The James Harden experiment was fascinating, but he's the epitome of a "once-a-week" player at this point in his career. He's fantastic when he's on his best behavior, hustling in transition, fighting through screens, and being the team's pass-first point guard. The flashes aren't consistent enough to warrant the headache that comes with the shot-chucking defensive liability version of Harden, which appears just as much. It was questionable if he was a winning player in 2018, and in 2024, it's clear he's far from it.

George would be the best of the bunch to retain, but with Leonard already under contract, is it worth keeping the duo intact? It's a problematic premise. The Clippers have tried to extend George for under the max, which his side swiftly rejected. It's hard to justify the price tag for a 34-year-old with a lengthy injury history. 

No matter what you think of Ivica Zubac, Terance Mann, and Norman Powell, they can't overcompensate for the stars shortcomings. Without a dramatic overhaul, this squad has zero chance of winning a championship in the foreseeable future. Pretending otherwise is a catastrophic miscalculation. Frank needs to wake up and salvage this mess.