Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Clippers Interested In Blockbuster Offseason Trade

May 1, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers center Mason Plumlee (44), guard James Harden (1), guard Norman Powell (24), forward Paul George (13), center Ivica Zubac (40), center Daniel Theis (10) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) react in in the second half during game five of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With free agency now a month away, the Chicago Bulls and DeMar DeRozan appear to have mutual interest in a continued partnership. However, even that may not be enough to keep the 15-year veteran in Windy City.

A six-time All-Star, DeRozan had a memorable season in 2023-24.

The 34-year-old played a league-high 37.8 minutes per game, averaging 24.0 points per game on 48.0 percent shooting from the field. Once criticized for his contributions outside of scoring, he was a two-end playmaker, averaging 5.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He was also one of the top closers, runner-up to Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry in the Clutch Player of the Year Award race. As a result, DeRozan will be one of the more desirable free agents available.

Clippers Interested In Blockbuster DeMar DeRozan Deal

DeRozan will also be more affordable than potential free agents like Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Los Angeles Clippers swingman Paul George.

With James’s stature and George’s well-documented contract dispute, they’ll likely demand a max contract offer this offseason. Meanwhile, DeRozan made $28.6 million in 2023-24, nearly $20 million less than James ($46.7 million) and George ($45.6 million). Interestingly, this could also lead to DeRozan becoming one of their replacements:

One team worth monitoring as a potential suitor for DeRozan via sign-and-trade is the (Clippers), should the franchise fail to re-sign (George) in free agency,” per HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto.

Does DeRozan Fit the Clips?

DeRozan and George are both elite scorers.

Compared to George, DeRozan’s a technician, typically more efficient because he’s surgical in his attack. George has the advantage in shooting range, ball-handling, and athleticism, his skillset and technique making him a role model for a new generation of NBA fans. That being said, if the Clippers were to seriously consider replacing George with DeRozan, their backcourt may need reworking.

Whichever wing position DeRozan plays, the players beside him will ideally excel both defensively and as 3-point threats. Yet, while James Harden is a leaky defender, Terance Mann is a streaky shooter. One of them, likely Mann, will likely be replaced in the starting lineup if L.A. makes a move on DeRozan. In that event, it makes sense to promote Norman Powell to the first unit, as he’s a more consistent 3-point threat than Mann but still a top-notch defender.

Assuming a hypothetical starting lineup of Harden, Powell, DeRozan, Kawhi Leonard, and Ivica Zubac take the floor in 2024-25, the Clippers have a fair chance of making it to the NBA Finals. They’ll be less stout defensively, which has been one of their calling cards. However, they’ll be even more efficient on offense, while benefiting from DeRozan’s remarkable durability.

What’s In It For the Bulls

It’s unclear what the Clippers would offer the Bulls, as George is unlikely to sign a contract that will match DeRozan’s. However, it’s possible that Chicago will have interest in Powell, Zubac, and Russell Westbrook given their needs.

On the surface, this is a lopsided trade in favor of L.A. Nonetheless, the quality of the deal is primarily dependent upon whether they can land Powell, who averages 16.4 points per game on 41.0 percent from 3 as a starter. Westbrook is also an intriguing option given his frenetic pace, decorated career, and Lonzo Ball‘s chaotic situation. In 2023-24, Westbrook averaged 17.8 points and 7.2 assists per 36 minutes.


More Posts