Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, NBA Trade Deadline, Carmelo Anthony trade
Dec 14, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) and guard Chris Paul (3) talk against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. LA Clippers defeated the Orlando Magic 113-108. USA TODAY Sports / Kim Klement

The Los Angeles Clippers are on early vacation once more after getting the boot from the Utah Jazz. And like before, its back to the drawing board for team president and coach Doc Rivers though even that is shrouded in a cloud of doubt.

Despite having Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers have yet to make the Western Conference Finals at the least. Unlike other teams, the Clips have been stuffed with the talent the past seasons. The only downside to that is age and overflow of talent which questions the chemistry from within.

Now, the Clippers enter the offseason with plenty of questions. That includes the future of Doc Rivers and the plight of the upcoming free agents. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are headed to free agency and both will be hotly pursued by other teams. Lucrative offers and promises are expected, meaning there is a chance that the Clippers core will be shred to pieces.

Rivers is aware he could end up losing Paul and Griffin plus others who have expired contracts and player options. Aside from the mutt-and-jeff tandem of the Clippers, J.J. Reddick and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute could be moving out if they find better deals and/or opportunities, NBC Sports reports.

With plenty of questions, the Clippers will have to address the team’s weaknesses. Much of that was exposed against the Utah Jazz and Rivers is already looking ahead.

“We need more length and two-way players. Again, that’s easy to say. Little harder to do with the way our contracts are. We may continue to do what we’ve done or we may decide to change our contracts and have more flexibility.”

Despite the adversity, Rivers is keeping a positive outlook. He expects a wild offseason but all of it starts by trying to keep the core intact. DeAndre Jordan will still be around so the courtship stage now shifts to Griffin and Paul.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Clippers are hoping to sign both Griffin and Paul to max contract deals this offseason. Both have an early termination clause which would be their key to joining the NBA free agent frenzy.

Griffin and Paul have been tight-lipped about their future plans though reports have it that both are expected to stick it out with the Clippers. Paul has reportedly agreed verbally while Griffin is not remotely interested in changing teams.

If all goes according to plan, the real problem of the Clippers would be their supporting cast. They will make a run at top free agents, hopefully not superstars since they seem to have more than enough. Rather, they may be better off looking for players who do the dirty work – defend, hustle and rebound.