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Los Angeles Clippers won't trade Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, or DeAndre Jordan

By
Alex Butler

LOS ANGELES, May 3 (UPI) -- Doc Rivers told reporters that he wants to hang on to his core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan.

The Los Angeles Clippers coach said Monday that he doesn't see a trade package working out to acquire the trio.

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"I like our core," Rivers said. "Our bench was really good this year."

The Portland Trail Blazers eliminated the Clippers April 29 in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Before that, the team lost both Paul and Griffin to devastating injuries.

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"We are close and we know that," Rivers said. "Obviously with the injuries we literally don't know what we could have done."

Paul, who suffered a broken right hand, and Griffin, who re-aggravated a quadriceps injury, are expected to be ready by the start of camp next season.

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"I think they all want to come back, and we're going to make a strong effort to bring all our guys back," Rivers said. "The good news about the free-agent guys who are opting out on their contracts, as they should, I can't find one who doesn't want to be here."

Rivers expects Paul and Griffin to opt out of the final year of their contracts. Paul has a $24.2 million option next season, while Griffin's option is for $21.3 million. Jordan is due $22.6 million next season and has a $24.1 million player option in 2018.

The Clippers lost in the Western Conference Semifinals in 2013 and 2014, the first round in 2012, and also in the 2011 semifinals.

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Rivers, who also serves as the team's president of basketball operations, has led the Clippers to a 166-80 regular season record and 15-18 playoff record in three seasons as coach.

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