J.J. Redick said Chris Paul‘s “spirits are good” after undergoing thumb surgery today, relays Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Paul is expected to be out of action for six to eight weeks with the injury that he suffered Monday against the Thunder. The Clippers are hoping to get Blake Griffin back soon from minor knee surgery in December, and coach Doc Rivers said he will adjust the rotation until everyone is healthy. “We still have new guys — Alan [Anderson] is new and Raymond [Felton] is new and Mo [Marreese Speights] and Brandon [Bass],” Rivers said. “This is a good opportunity for them to learn how to execute together. When everyone is back, when you get Chris and Blake back, if this group can execute … I think it makes us better in the long run. This is not the way you want to do it, but this is the way it’s been presented.”
There’s more Clippers news from Los Angeles:
- Rivers, who also serves as president of basketball operations, said the team may consider some roster moves to help ease the loss of Paul, Turner adds in the same story. L.A. has four healthy guards right now and three of them — Redick, Felton and Austin Rivers — are starters. “We can’t always do something,” Rivers said about a potential move. “But we always look.”
- Paul’s injury could doom the last shot at playoff success for this current group of Clippers, writes Chris Mannix of The Vertical. L.A. is fourth in the West at 29-14, but could easily fall behind Utah, Oklahoma City and Memphis while Paul is sidelined. That would mean a first-round series without home court advantage. If the Clippers are bounced from the playoffs early again, they may decide not to keep both Paul and Griffin, who can both become free agents this summer. Re-signing them would push the team payroll to around $150MM, plus about $100MM in luxury tax penalties. Mannix notes that Rivers may not want to coach a rebuilding team, something he wasn’t willing to do in Boston, especially with the Clippers not having first-round picks this year or in 2019.
- The loss of Paul probably kills any chance of a Griffin trade, according to Mitch Lawrence of Forbes.