Austin Rivers made a prediction Sunday. It wasn’t a particularly bold one. He simply said he expected the Clippers to return to the playoffs next spring. An offseason of change should make them a stronger, deeper and more resilient team for 2017-18. “We will be a playoff team this year,” Rivers said. “Ain’t no reason for us not to be in the playoffs. So, that’s where we’re at. We don’t feel like we’ve slumped off at all. We feel we’re deeper than we were last year. We feel we’ll be that same seed or that same range and go right back to the playoffs.” Change, in the form of nine new players, has been good for the Clippers. “I feel like we have more physical guards, overall, as far as the depth,” Rivers said. “We have young guys who can hoop now. Sindarius (Thornwell, a rookie,) is going to play now. We went from not really having any wings to having too many wings, almost, which is a good thing.” Rivers was just getting started in his roster evaluation. “We’ve got Sindarius, who can guard multiple positions,” Rivers said. “Wesley (Johnson) is looking the best I’ve ever seen him. You’ve got Sam Dekker. You’ve got (Danilo) Gallinari. You’ve got me and Patrick (Beverley), who really should be second to none defensively in the league. “We’ve got our two bigs (Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan) back. We’ve got Willie Reed as a backup five (center). You look overall, we’re a deeper team. We’ve got to use that to our advantage. The way the league is now, you could see Gallinari at the five. We could just go small.”