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During the Chris Paul–Blake Griffin–DeAndre Jordan era, the Los Angeles Clippers were always one of the best teams in the NBA during the regular season and looked primed to contend for a championship year after year.
The Clippers, however, never made it past the second-round of the playoffs and often got in its own way with big time collapses and mental mistakes.
As a result, the Clippers’ former Big Three are no longer together. This upcoming season will be the first year since 2011 that the Clippers won’t have Paul, Griffin or Jordan on the team. Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2017, Griffin was sent to the Detroit Pistons at the 2018 February trade deadline and Jordan signed with the Dallas Mavericks this offseason in free agency.
Ex-NBA player Corey Maggette, who played for the Clippers from 2001-08, says it was tough to see Paul, Griffin and Jordan depart Los Angeles.
“I mean for me, it was tough to see those guys go,” Maggette told Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points. “Because you’ve seen the chemistry that they had, what they were building, and me being a former Clipper, I was there during the dog era where people didn’t come and see the Clipper games as much. I think Chris, Blake and DeAndre built something great for that franchise and so for me, it was hard to see them go. But at the same time, I also understand where the Clippers are trying to go.”
In a rugged Western Conference, the Clippers are clearly in rebuild mode now. The franchise drafted Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson in the 2018 NBA draft and is hoping the two youngsters will be building blocks for the future.
Maggette says the Clippers will have a lot of growing pains, but believes head coach Doc Rivers and advisor Jerry West will lead the organization back to prominence.
“I think as far as the Clippers having those 12 and 13 picks, those picks are kind of tricky,” Maggette told Azarly. “You can call those guys to get a workout and sometimes you can’t. I think the Clippers did a great job of drafting the right players for their team and I think they’re going to be okay. There’s going to be some growing pains, and I think with the players they have on the roster, the leadership of Doc and Jerry West — you know that they’re going to lead those kids in the right direction.”