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Are the Clippers the quiet title contender for next season?

Thinking about what the 2022-23 NBA season will be, there are several organizations that are shaping up to fight as contenders for the championship. Although in the Western Conference it is the Golden State Warriors who are seen as candidates, there is another team that could have a leading role if injuries allow it.

This is the Los Angeles Clippers, who have just finished eighth last season and could not reach the playoffs after falling in the ‘play-in’ tournament. This doesn’t sound like much, but it is considering they didn’t have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George missed almost 65% of the team’s games, being the two most important players on the team.

The key to this is the fact that the Clippers have one of the most complete rosters in the league, with quality players on all lines and reliable replacements from the second unit. This formula, with Leonard and George recovered, could end up being very important in the development of the season in the West.

A not minor detail is that they have all their figures insured for 2022-23, so the departure of important players is not a problem that management will have to deal with. Of note is the fact that Leonard and George, as well as Norman Powell, Marcus Morris and Luke Kennard, all have a bond that will keep them on the team for another two or three seasons.

This of course will cost them more than it should in terms of salary cap, since only in salaries they already have $171.9 million committed, being the most expensive team in the NBA. If the luxury tax is taken into account, the investment in the team would climb to $229 million.

In the West there will be a lot of competition with teams like the Nuggets, the Grizzlies, the Mavericks, the Lakers and of course, the Warriors as current champions. But we must not lose sight of what those led by Tyronn Lue do, who could end up being the surprise.

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