This is may sound like a real hot take, but hear me out: the Los Angeles Clippers are a very borderline Western Conference playoff team. They lost their ball handler, Chris Paul, to another team in the West, the Houston Rockets, and picked up loads of secondary pieces in return. They also picked up Danilo Gallinari in a sign-and-trade involving the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks.
In total, the Clippers shipped out Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, and some protected draft picks for Danilo Gallinari, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Kyle Wiltjer, Montrezl Harrell, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, a protected first-round pick next year and cash considerations. The only players the Clippers got in return that will impact their games are Beverley, Williams, Dekker, and Harrell. These guys simply will not lead the Clippers to a high-end playoff seed, if into the playoffs at all. It is also worth noting that they lost J.J. Redick to the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency.
Teams in the Western Conference have only gotten better. The Golden State Warriors have retained their roster, the Rockets got Paul, the Minnesota Timberwolves added Jimmy Butler, and the list goes on. There are easily eight other teams that could beat the Clippers out for a spot in the playoffs. The Clippers have such a hole at point guard now, and I really have no idea what they are going to do to fix it. Patrick Beverley is a great player and I have the utmost respect for his game, but he is a backup at best. He is not a ball-handling point guard, so he does not fill that need at all. Even though he is old and had a down year last season, I would have been a lot more comfortable with this team if they found a way to keep Jamal Crawford because he could at least play the point for stretches.
The Clippers are not going to do much this year; their dominant front court can only take them so far. Just ask the New Orleans Pelicans how things worked out for them last year. The Clippers are in a bad spot.