It’s possible — though, for the record, highly, highly improbable — that the L.A. Clippers are entering a “death spiral,” thanks to Donald Sterling’s increasing affinity for suing everybody he’s ever known. Doc Rivers allegedly told the team’s interim CEO that he would leave the team if Sterling was still around by next season, and if he does that, the players might follow suit.
Again: This will almost definitely not happen. Sterling will probably lose every case he opens, and even if he doesn’t, it’s doubtful that Rivers would walk away from such a lucrative and powerful position (ditto his players). After all, litigation takes time, and there’s little the NBA can do to speed a bogged-down process like this along.
But let’s say it happens. Let’s say the Clippers disband, and rather than forming another team (IN SEATTLE, MAYBE? C’MON, GUYS, GO TO SEATTLE), they all go their separate ways. Barring some kind of (awesome) supplemental draft, the players become free agents. Where would they go?
Chris Paul — L.A. Lakers
Finally, Chris Paul goes to the team he was destined for all along, if not for David Stern and those pesky basketball reasons. Kobe Bryant no longer wishes to fly into the sun, and a fairly decent core of Paul, Kobe, Carlos Boozer and Julius Randle competes for… the sixth seed in the West. Not bad.
Runner up: New York Knicks, where Paul joins up with Carmelo Anthony after years of scheming and lives happily ever after for a little bit.
Blake Griffin — Houston Rockets
Thank god for that flexibility! The Rockets make up for the Chris Bosh disaster by grabbing arguably the best power forward in the game, a guy who likes clowning around as much as big baby Dwight Howard. This team would rock.
Runner up: Cleveland Cavaliers, because LeBron.
DeAndre Jordan — L.A. Lakers
Keeping the band somewhat together and following CP3. The Lakers just lost their center and need a rim protector too. Jordan just seems like an L.A. dude too. Can’t see him in Milwaukee.
Runner up: Milwaukee Bucks, just because.
Jordan Crawford — Chicago Bulls
Scoring punch! Bench spark plug! Used to playing for powerhouse teams with big personalities! Unlimited range! Not afraid of the big shot! Has played for pretty much every other team already!
Runner up: Oklahoma City Thunder, to replace the team’s former bench guy, who now plays in Houston.
J.J. Reddick — Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs thought they had a veteran shooter in Rashard Lewis, but Lewis failed his physical and the Mavs could use another guy to spread the floor. J.J.’s a natural spreader.
Runner up: Indiana Pacers, since they just lost their shooting guard and then we can make “white guy who shoots, like Larry Bird!” comparisons, which is a popular thing to do.
Matt Barnes — MMA
He wants to fight.
Runner up: New Orleans Pelicans, where he’d form a beastly frontline alongside Anthony Davis and Omer Asik.
Glen Davis — Boston Celtics
It’s where he belongs.
Runner up: He’s probably out of the league if it gets to this point.
Jared Dudley — Phoenix Suns
Back to the place where he blossomed, to a team that turned out to be pretty good last season despite us picking them to finish at the bottom of the Western Conference. Never say die.
Runner up: Denver Nuggets, in case Danilo Gallinari isn’t the same when he comes back.
Spencer Hawes — Miami Heat
Welcome to the Clippers! Now leave. Hawes appears to be in “play for a contender mode,” so let him go to the Heat and anchor the paint with Chris Bosh. Huh. I actually really like this.
Runner up: San Antonio Spurs, for the same reason.
Reggie Bullock — Philadelphia 76ers
Poor Reggie Bullock. One year into his NBA career and he has to find a new team. Let’s find him a place where he can actually get some minutes, a place where they’re practically giving playing time away, a place where losing is expected and winning is… not. Philadelphia it is.
Runner up: Houston Rockets, because assets.
Jordan Farmer — Hmm
Runner up: Um. Guangdong of the Chinese Basketball Association?
The best-case scenario, of course, is the team sticking together. The next best-case (some would say even-better-case) is that they all move to Seattle together. But if they had to split up, we’d like this version of the NBA even more. The West is too strong anyway.
Oh, and Rivers would become the new coach of the Lakers.
Photo via Getty