Ranking 6 Clippers free agents by likelihood to return next season

The Clippers have several upcoming free agents this summer. This is how they stack up in terms of probability to return to LA.
James Harden, LA Clippers
James Harden, LA Clippers / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The LA Clippers are effectively stuck between a rock and a hard place. After completing possibly their best regular season of the Kawhi Leonard and Paul George era in spite of some major roster changes, the Clippers' seemingly inevitable injury troubles cropped up yet again in the playoffs. What was once a promising year turned into just another disappointment.

The front office will of course have some major decisions to make this summer. Kawhi has already been extended, so he is presumably in for the long haul. But nothing else appears to be set in stone, with plenty of conversations about a potential Paul George trade already circulating around the NBA landscape.

Additionally, the Clippers have several rostered players that will be free agents this offseason. Whether those players stick around for the move to Intuit Dome or not will play a big part in determining what this team looks like come October. Let's take a look at six Clippers free agents and rank them, starting with most likely to return and ending with least likely to return.

1. James Harden

This one is about as clear-cut as it gets. James Harden just finished up his first season with the Clippers after being traded from Philadelphia at the tail end of October. All things considered, it was a solid campaign for him, and one where he was able to thrive with a change of scenery from playing with an extremely ball-dominant teammate with the 76ers.

Yes, Harden had his ups and downs, particularly in the playoffs. But such is the James Harden experience, and much of the good and bad he brought to the table were things the Clippers understood when they agreed to trade for him. Odds are, they would be happy to get his services back for another season.

Here is the bottom line: the Clippers organization and specifically team owner Steve Ballmer know they need to sell tickets and give fans a reason to show up when the team moves to their newly-christened arena in Inglewood next season. Harden's production is no longer enough to justify a bank-breaking contract, so getting him back on something more closely resembling a team-friendly deal seems the best option.