They are perennial losers, they have perhaps the worst owner in sports, and for whatever reason they seem almost cursed (though that may have something to do with the prior point). But the team that Bill Simmons likes to flirt with is still trying to get better.
Assuming the team can stay relatively healthy (always a risky assumption, particularly where the Clippers are involved), I think they can play play .500 ball. From a sheer talent standpoint, I think the near .500 basketball they played for the first 36 games was much more indicative than the .250 they played under Kim Hughes, after they'd given up. If the combination of Del Negro and Griffin can keep the team (most importantly veterans Davis and Kaman) playing hard through April, I think the talent is there to win more games than they lose.
Call me a skeptic if you like, but if the high water mark is .500 ball, I'm not too optimistic about their near future.
In particular, I don't have a lot of faith in coach Del Negro. Joakim Noah is pretty succinct with this comparison between his new and old coaches.
With Del Negro (former coach), it was Club Med (French holiday camp). (Laughs) Now, this is a military camp!"
But that's just a part of the problem. If only they could fire the owner...