After failing to make the playoffs this season, the LA Clippers should look into trades to bolster their roster for next season. Injuries, of course, played a major part in the Clippers missing the playoffs. Assuming they’re healthy next season, the team will be considered a playoff contender. With that being said, there are a couple of fixes they can make to vault back into true championship contending status.
LA Clippers: Two Trades to Consider
Addressing Needs on Both Sides
LA Clippers receive Jordan Clarkson.
Utah Jazz receive Marcus Morris and a second-round pick.
The Clippers are loaded with defensive wings outside of Morris such as Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Robert Covington who recently re-signed. For this reason, Morris, and his offensive production that came out of the injury-filled year for the Clippers, becomes expendable. What LA does need, is backcourt help. The team loves to be position-less, but more than Reggie Jackson will be needed as a point guard come playoff time. Clarkson isn’t as much of a facilitator as he is a scorer, but his ability to score in bunches off the bench will be a great asset. Jackson still runs with the starters, due to his experience with the team, but Clarkson sparks fear on the team’s bench. He allows the Clippers to be loaded in all facets.
Utah needs defensive help. In short, they were awful against the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs first-round on the defensive end. Morris guards multiple positions and is a well-known stopper. In addition, offensive contributions are there. He averaged 15 points per game this season whereas Clarkson averaged 16. Utah loves shooting threes as well, and Morris drained 37 percent of his threes this past season.
All-Out Wing Play
LA Clippers receive Terrence Ross.
Orlando Magic receive Ivica Zubac.
Are the Clippers ready to fully commit to position-less basketball? If so, the team can see plenty of Morris, Covington, and even Nic Batum minutes at the small-ball five. The Clippers love their wing players, and one of the most intriguing players who may be available this offseason is Ross. Outside of his ferocious dunking ability and athleticism, Ross is a very solid shooter and defender. This season he averaged about 10 points, three rebounds, and two assists per game for the Magic. His minutes were off on a rebuilding team, so he’s capable of more. Ross becomes expendable for the Magic as he doesn’t fit their current timeline and projection. LA likely salivates at the opportunity to have players like Morris, Covington, Batum, Jackson, Norman Powell, Terance Mann, Luke Kennard, and Ross surround their two stars.
Mo Bamba hits free agency this summer, and a team desperate for center help will surely offer him a hefty contract. Considering Orlando already has Wendell Carter Jr, they may not want to match what other teams offer Bamba. They’d be in the market for another center if this were the case, and Zubac is a very solid option. Outside of his solid play, Zubac is experienced in the playoffs which bodes well for a young Magic squad.
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