With most of the core unit going into free agency this summer, the Los Angeles Clippers had the most important offseason of all teams. Unfortunately, they were unable to hold on to star point guard Chris Paul, who chose to sign with the Houston Rockets. J.J. Redick also left the team to sign a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Anytime a team loses a star player during the offseason, you would think that particular team had an awful summer. That wasn’t exactly the case with the Clippers. Since Paul let the organization know of his intentions, the Clippers were able to execute a trade with the Rockets instead of losing him for absolutely nothing.

The blockbuster Chris Paul deal

Paul opted into his contract, so the Clippers would trade him and gain some assets instead. For Paul, Los Angeles received Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, Darrun Hillard, a future first-round pick, and cash considerations. For a player that no longer wanted to play in L.A., the Clippers acquired a whole lot in return.

The Clippers waived almost half those players, but the ones they kept are enough to keep them afloat in the Western Conference.

Beverley will bring defensive nastiness, energy, and tenacity, while Williams will provide a ton of offense. Dekker and Harrell will both become serviceable reserves, bringing plenty of hustle and energy.

Re-signing the most important piece

The most important move of the offseason for the Clippers was re-signing Blake Griffin. The five-time All-Star remained loyal to the organization by signing a five-year deal. After losing Paul, it was very crucial to at least bring back Griffin to maintain power in the superior Western Conference. With Paul gone, Griffin will become the focal point of the offense, and he is more than capable of putting up big numbers.

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Other key additions

Through free agency, the Clippers signed Danilo Gallinari to bolster the frontcourt. To acquire Gallinari, the Clippers pulled a three-team sign-and-trade with the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks, sending Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, and the 2018 first-round pick attained from Houston in the Paul deal to Atlanta.

Gallinari gives the Clippers a small forward they have never had before. The 29-year-old Italian is accustomed to creating offense for himself and is capable of hitting big shots.

He is also a solid rebounder and versatile player, who will significantly strengthen Los Angeles’ frontcourt.

European sensation Milos Teodosic was another brilliant addition to the team. The 30-year-old Serbian is a top-notch playmaker, who figures to play behind Beverley off the bench. He is an unselfish point guard that will replace the playmaking void left behind by Paul. Lastly, the Clippers signed Willie Reed, who is another high energy player with terrific athleticism for a big man.

The 2017 NBA draft

The Clippers attained two second-rounders through the draft, Jawun Evans, and Sindarius Thornwell.

Both rookies have already been signed and will serve as third-string players if they indeed make the roster.

For a team that could have headed for mediocrity, the Clippers bounced back adequately to remain relevant in the West. For a moment, it was looking to be a chaotic offseason for L.A. since Paul decided to leave, but they milked the Rockets and did well in free agency.

Roster outlook

PG: Patrick Beverley/Milos Teodosic/Jawun Evans SG: Lou Williams/Austin Rivers/DeAndre Liggins/Sindarius Thornwell SF: Danilo Gallinari/Sam Dekker/Wesley Johnson PF: Blake Griffin/Brice Johnson C: DeAndre Jordan/Montrezl Harrell/Willie Reed Coach: Doc Rivers

Offseason Grade: B-

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