The Clippers had a breakthrough season in 2011/12, but their ability to build on that will be compromised by their offseason health issues, writes Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups are expected to miss the entire preseason, while Lamar Odom, who's working his way back into playing shape, and Blake Griffin figure to be limited training camp participants. That means the Clippers will likely start the season having to play catch-up, Markazi says. That's compounded by Vinny Del Negro's task of having to integrate five new free agent acquisitions in the lineup while also juggling part-time GM duties. Here's more from around the Association tonight:
- Stephen Jackson spoke fondly of his return to the Spurs to Jared Ainsworth of the Beaumont Enterprise, saying, "If things work out in San Antonio I wouldn't mind finishing my career there. But you know it's a business and I'm one of those guys that doesn't mind going to play somewhere else. I've been on seven different teams."
- Luis Scola donned his Suns uniform Wednesday for an introductory press conference and photo shoot, and talked about his adjustment to life in Phoenix and his experience with the Argentinian team at the Olympics, as Stefan Swiat of Suns.com writes.
- The Cavs acquired Jeremy Pargo via trade with the Grizzlies last month, but Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio expects the Cavs to find another point guard to bring to training camp, with Pargo and Donald Sloan currently the only backups for Kyrie Irving (Sulia link). Amico also passes along word that most coaches and executives he's talked to project the Cavs to win between 28 and 35 games.
- Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com grades every team's offseason. The Clippers, despite their injuries, and Lakers get A+ marks, while the Pistons and Magic get F's.