NBA

Doc Rivers confident the Clippers will stay together

The Doc is hopeful he can hang onto star players like Blake Griffin and Chris Paul despite the LA team's weak showing in the playoffs.

Doc Rivers confident the Clippers will stay together
Steve DYKES AFP

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers is confident the team's best players want to stay with the club despite a disappointing exit in the playoffs.

Rivers said Tuesday he believes Blake Griffin and Chris Paul will both return for the franchise next season, ruling out any possibility of either being traded.

'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.

Blake Griffin sits on the bench as time winds down on the Clippers' season

'The good news about the free-agent guys who are opting out on their contracts -- as they should, because everyone knows what we can spend and what we can't spend -- I can't find one who doesn't want to be here.'

Griffin endured a miserable season for the Clippers, missing much of the campaign with injuries and a suspension after punching a team official during a brawl in Toronto.

He suffered a season-ending injury during the playoffs where the Clippers exited to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Clippers were also deprived of Paul through injury during the series with Portland, leaving Rivers reflecting on what might have been as he plans for next season.

'We have a priority of trying to just keep making our team better. Obviously because of the injuries -- Blake's in particular -- we literally don't know what we could have done,' Rivers said.

Chris drives to the basket against the Portland Trail Blazers

Rivers ruled out trading Griffin or Paul even if a player such as Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant became available in July.

Paul signed a five-year contract extension in 2013 but has an opt-out clause this summer. Rivers said however Paul would renegotiate with the team even if he exercises the opt-out option.

DeAndre Jordan is not available via trade, either, Rivers added.