Chris Paul will become an unrestricted free agent in 106 days. Ditto for Blake Griffin. The uncertain future of the two cornerstone players in Clipperland has been felt (and feared) by this franchise every single day since training camp commenced way back on Sept. 26. So it goes when the widespread assumption in league circles holds that big changes are coming in the offseason if the Clippers fail to at least reach the Western Conference finals for the first time in CP3 and Griffin's six seasons together. Yet what if our focus is misplaced? What if the big change looming, in the event of another disappointing end to a Clippers season that began with such promise, occurs in the coaching box? Doc Rivers is under contract to serve as Clippers coach and president of basketball operations through the 2018-19 season. This is Year 3 of the five-year deal Rivers landed with new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer -- believed to be in excess of $50 million -- after steering the club so admirably through the last days of Donald T. Sterling's famously chaotic and controversial reign that spanned more than three decades. That monster pact, however, hasn't prevented Rivers' name from popping up in one of the league's more rampant recent conspiracy theories. There has been persistent chatter for weeks on the NBA's front-office grapevine that the Orlando Magic and Rivers will explore a reunion down the road. Now, you're certainly not alone if you're wondering whether down the road in this case should be measured in months or years. More clarity, though, might not be far off. The Clippers, for starters, are bound to put their entire operation under the microscope if their season continues to unravel in its current manner. Injuries have undoubtedly played their part, with Paul and Griffin playing together in only 37 of the Clippers' 69 games to date, but a 5-8 funk heading into Saturday night's home showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers has threatened to knock the Clips down to the West's sixth or seventh seed.
Magic GM likely to be fired, Doc Rivers a potential replacement
ESPN | Mar 18