Doc Rivers is entering his fifth season as the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. He would have been heading into his fourth as the president of basketball operations. However, on Friday, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer freed Doc of his Front Office duties so that he can now focus more on his coaching responsibilities. Rivers will be replaced by vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank.

This off-season chaos could have led to Ballmer's decision to relieve Doc of his position. The Clippers lost their best player in Chris Paul when he allowed them to trade him to Houston, as opposed to Paul just opting out and leaving them with nothing.

However, after the kind gesture by CP3, it was rumored shortly after that the real reason he left was that Rivers did not apply the same discipline to his son as he did to the rest of the team.

Both Doc and Austin wasted no time to deny the accusations and insist that the reason Chris decided to leave is that he felt playing alongside James Harden would give him a better chance at finally winning an NBA title. The alleged strained relationship between Doc and CP3 tarnished the name of Rivers a little as Paul is a highly respected person and player around the league and with the media. So, focusing on just one agenda may be exactly what Doc needs to begin life without his former all-star guard.

Season expectations

The Clippers were able to convince Blake Griffin to stick around a little while longer by extending his contract by a substantial amount. They also picked up some key players like Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams from the Chris Paul trade. Danilo Gallinari was their off-season steal and they expect him to produce at a high-level now that CP3 is gone.

DeAndre Jordan, of course, will continue to dominate inside on both sides of the ball.

With the experience of those five guys, the team could still possibly remain a playoff team, despite losing their best player this off-season. Gallinari should fill in just fine bringing over an average of 18.2 ppg. Lou Williams almost won another Sixth Man of the Year award but was edged out by his teammate at the time Eric Gordon. Patrick Beverley brings the intensity and toughness he provided the Rockets with for the last several seasons.

Austin Rivers' role

Coming off the bench in 45 of the 74 games he played in last season, Austin Rivers had the best season of his five-year NBA career under the command of his father Doc. He averaged a career-high 12.0 ppg and shot over 37 percent from the perimeter. Also, the last three seasons he's been a key player for them during postseason play averaging 8.8 ppg in just 23 games played.

Since joining forces with his father, Austin's game has gotten much better. He struggled to find his game in his first three seasons with New Orleans but has shown nothing but tremendous upside for L.A. With the departure of Chris Paul, look for the the number of Austin to be called much more this season.

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