If the Los Angeles Clippers had the ability to add Kevin Durant's services without losing Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, it would be a no brainer. Unfortunately, unlike baseball and the European soccer leagues, the NBA works under a salary cap, and Durant won't take a paycut to accept only $10 million a season, if that. Speculation has the Clippers sending Griffin back home to Oklahoma City with Durant headed to the Clippers. That would be a grave mistake by Doc Rivers and the Clippers front office if they decide to make the swap. Only way Durant ends up in a Clippers uniform is if he chooses to come to Los Angeles, meaning the Clippers would not be under any sort of obligation to give the Thunder any return assets, and why would they want to help keep one of their biggest competitors for the conference crown anyway?
If Durant wants to come to Los Angeles, the Clippers would be much better off trading Griffin, or even Jordan, away for pure cap space and draft picks to help round out the roster. Boston would be a spectacular trade partner for such a move, as Danny Ainge has plenty of assets to consolidate talent, from highly coveted Brooklyn Nets draft picks, including the third pick this year, to cost controlled young talent such as R.J. Hunter (ironically, picked by a Clipper first owned by Boston). A three team trade involving the Phoenix Suns as well could be a great way for the Clippers to clear cap space and get cost controlled youth. Boston can send Jae Crowder, the third selection and two second round picks to Phoenix, the Memphis Grizzlies and Nets future firsts to Los Angeles. Phoenix sends the fourth and 13th selections to Los Angeles along with Archie Goodwin. Clippers send Blake Griffin, Paul Pierce to Boston and C.J. Wilcox to Phoenix.
Boston consolidates and gets their stud big man to go with Thomas in the backcourt. Phoenix pays a bit to move up one slot, but also adds a defensive stallworth at the three. The Clippers gain two lottery picks, two future firsts, a solid defensive wing and swap two young shooting guards, hoping Goodwin has more potential than Wilcox. Draft night brings in excitement to the Clippers, a team that has spent the majority of its NBA lifetime in the lottery. With the fourth overall selection, Rivers' goes with Kris Dunn while Denzel Valentine is the pick at 13. Toss in the Clippers own selections, Ben Bentil at 25 and Diamond Stone at 33, Los Angeles is beginning its rounding of its roster. Come free agency, Los Angeles signs Kevin Durant to a 1+1 contract, hoping they do just enough to convince him to stick around for the long haul. With little money remaining to spend, Rivers focuses on free agents from the 2015-16 campaign to provide the depth by keeping Austin Rivers and Jeff Green around on big one year deals. Cole Aldrich would be great to keep, but he ended up playing himself out of the Clippers price range. Chris Kaman would be a viable option in the Clippers price range, as would Larry Sanders.
A starting unit of Chris Paul - JJ Redick - Denzel Valentine - Kevin Durant - DeAndre Jordan and a second unit of Kris Dunn - Austin Rivers - Jamal Crawford - Archie Goodwin - Branden Dawsen - Jeff Green - Wesley Johnson - Diamond Stone - Ben Bentil - Cole Aldrich could be what Doc may need to get over the hump.
In reality, none of this will even come close to reality.