The Clippers must avoid the same mistake Brooklyn Nets made

Looking to the future, the Clippers must be careful to avoid a fatal mistake committed by the Nets.
Terance Mann, Spencer Dinwiddie
Terance Mann, Spencer Dinwiddie / Harry How/GettyImages

The LA Clippers have been one of the NBA's most successful teams over the last decade. Since the start of the 2014-15 season, only the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors can claim a higher overall winning percentage.

This runs in stark contrast to the Clippers' story over the course of most of the rest of their history. They have one of the lowest all-time winning percentages in league history, and were viewed for so long as one of the most perpetually losing teams in the association.

Of course, since the acquisition of Chris Paul in 2011, that narrative was flipped completely on its head. Even after the "Lob City" era was finished, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George took the reins and continued to make the Clippers a Western Conference playoff contender year in and year out.

But now, standing at a clear crossroads with Paul George's future in question, the Clippers have some thinking to do. They can go about their winning ways without George in theory, but they will have to be very careful. Specifically, they will want to avoid mirroring the same mistake the Brooklyn Nets made when they were faced with a similar situation.

The Nets lost their co-stars and completely fell apart

When Brooklyn employed the likes of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, they were unquestionably one of the most dynamic teams and most dangerous threats to win a title in the NBA. But as their team grew and time went on, they ran into some crucial problems.

The Nets inked Kevin Durant to a long-term deal to keep him in town, but they eventually lost Harden and Irving. In failing to keep Durant's co-stars around, the team crumbled and KD himself requested a trade out of town.

What was once one of the top championship favorites in the league fell apart in short order due to one simple domino falling. Now, as we examine the Clippers' current situation, it becomes clearer and clearer why they can not afford to make the same type of mistake.

LA has three star-level players, and losing one of them in Paul George may not seem like the end of the world. But in the grand scheme of things, the Clippers must be cognizant of the ripple effects his potential departure could have.

Losing PG could lead to a more challenging regular season next year, and that could lead to a frustrated Harden and Leonard. The worst case scenario would be both eventually leaving, and the Clippers ending up like the Nets as a team stuck in obscurity. The chances of that happening may be unlikely, but it is simply something the Clippers must stay aware of.