Best Trades in Clipper History

With the playoffs around the corner, the Los Angeles Clippers have clinched a spot in the play-in tournament despite a year of injuries. All this, just a day after Robert Covington dropped 11 threes en route to 43 points. Covington came to Southern California on a deadline deal, alongside Norman Powell, and has many Clipper faithful wonder if that is the biggest steal the franchise has received in a trade. Here are five trades in which, I believe, the Clippers ended up on the winning side, by a long margin. 

Marko Jaric/Sam Cassell Swap with Minnesota

When this trade was announced, social media was still in infancy, with MySpace (Hi Tom!) and Xanga leading the way. As a result, fans had to resort to smashing their F5 button on or, hoping to see the update on any move. And this one had a few incorrect updates until the final news came out. 

Initial reports had the Clippers attaching a first round pick to make the swap. Well, those reports were incorrect as Los Angeles convinced the Wolves front office that the draft night hype of Jaric being superior to one Manu Ginobili was existent. In hindsight, it’s easy to point out, but reports also leaked out that Los Angeles didn’t have interest in retaining the Serbian point guard, which made extracting a first round selection that much more impressive. 

Cassell led the Clippers to a playoff berth during his debut season, helping elevate the game of one Elton Brand, and if it weren’t for a comedy of errors, could have been the floor general to lead Los Angeles to the Western Conference finals. Instead, they lost in seven to the Steve Nash-led Phoenix Suns. 

Jaric signed a six year deal with the Wolves valued at $40 million, lasting only three years before being a throw-in the Kevin Love/OJ Mayo trade and ultimately being waived by Memphis after a year.

Then, when you also consider that the first round selection that was received from Minnesota was a key cog in acquiring Chris Paul, and it becomes a no-brainer that the Clippers absolutely won the trade and Jaric belongs in the Clipper Hall of Fame for his impact.

Elton Brand/Tyson Chandler

Despite his despicable exit from the franchise, Elton Brand is among the greatest players to ever don the Clippers jersey and will go down as one of the most underrated players to play the game of basketball. Los Angeles was able to snag the services of the work-horse by giving up the second overall selection in the draft along with Brian Skinner.

Looking back without hindsight, despite the spectacular first two years Brand had put up in Chicago, the Clippers were in peak position to add Tyson Chandler, a local kid to the roster. Instead, they went with the former Blue Devil, and it was an absolute steal. Unfortunately, Elgin Baylor and Donald Sterling didn’t care about winning and Brand appeared in a single playoff run with the team. 

Ivica Zubac/Mike Muscala

Muscala wasn’t even a Clipper for a full day before the Clippers re-routed him to the other locker room in Staples Center, by swapping him for the services of Ivica Zubac. At the time, this had many pundits confused, and rightfully so, that the Lakers not only gave Zubac, a promising young big man, away for such a bargain price, but, apparently, were the ones to call their neighbors and present the offer.

Since then, Muscala had a disappointing stint in the purple and gold, while Zu has been a mainstay for a Clippers team that is remaining in the playoff hunt despite injuries and made the franchise’s first conference finals. 

Youth for Chris Paul

Any trade involving a disgruntled superstar and a bevy of youth could end up with either side being victors. Had Paul left the Clippers after a season, and Eric Gordon met his potential of being a star, this would have been one of the worst trades in franchise history.

Alas, that didn’t end up being the case, as Gordon wasn’t happy in New Orleans, Chris Kaman was on the way down and Al Farouq-Aminu didn’t reach his potential. Not to mention, that first round pick mentioned above in the Jaric-Cassell deal, ended up later than expected, with the Pelicans taking Austin Rivers (who, in all honesty, was one of the greatest HS players to step on the court).

While, Paul led the Clippers to the playoffs, year in and year out, despite not being able to get past the second round for a variety of reasons. Upon his exit, Paul was also able to help net the Clippers rebuild with Los Angeles ending up with Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and a first round pick. 

Luke Kennard 

Los Angeles had a young sharpshooter they were high on, in Landry Shamet. That didn’t hinder Lawrence Frank and Co from scouring the trade market on draft night, and were able to turn Shamet and McGruder into Kennard and four second round picks.

Now, just upgrading to Kennard was a win in itself, but the adding of draft picks, albeit second rounders, to try to fill up a bare empty cupboard was an amazing move by the front office. All this while Kennard has been a great addition and was the three point shoot out runner up. 

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NBA Power Rankings Week 2: Charlotte Surges While Los Angeles Sides Plummet

An exciting opening week of basketball has came, and went, leaving behind only five undefeated sides in its dust. We’ve seem some exciting play from youngsters like Ja Morant and LaMelo Ball, while Paul George is ready to take the scoring burden with Kawhi Leonard out. Carmelo Anthony creeps up the All-Time scoring list, while Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving aren’t even close to returning to action.

In either regard, we have another exciting week up ahead, and the teams rank something around these lines.

1] Utah Jazz (+2) 2-0

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NBA Power Rankings Week 1: Bucks Start Atop

The. NBA. Is. Back.

Very few four word combinations in the English language sound much sweeter than hearing about the return of the National Basketball Association. Hoops junkies are all ready, and the drama of the summer was absolutely perfect, with the Simmonscenario still in a wait and see status.

1] Milwakuee Bucks 

       It’s rare for the defending champions not to be considered at the top slot in the following power rankings, namely when the franchise retains it’s key cogs while Donte DiVincenzo is expected to return. Throw in organic growth, and the Bucks should be the front runners to take down the ’22 title.
vs Nets, @ Heat, @ Spurs

2] Los Angeles Lakers

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Back To Work: Armenia Looks to Stay Atop World Cup Qualifying Group in Skopje

       Having never made a major international tournament, the Armenian side is its in best shape it has ever been, going into the 4th match-day of the UEFA qualifiers for the 2022 edition of the World Cup being hosted by Qatar. It took a spectacular three game run in March, and victories in Liechtenstein, versus Iceland and Romania to put the Highlanders atop a group that features Germany along with the aforementioned sides.

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Three Clipper TPE Targets

Patrick Beverley is no longer a Clipper, as he was dealt with Rajon Rondo and Daniel Oturu to the Memphis Grizzlies, bringing back Eric Bledsoe to the City of Angels, where he began his NBA career. Whatever you may think of the trade, Clipper Nation needs to look forward and focus on what we can to do to continue to improve the roster, and the traded player exception, of about $8.3M generated, according to CBA Guru, Bobby Marks, could end up paying major dividends.

Some will say its edited

However, a TPE doesn’t neccesarily mean it will be used. Just ask the Boston Celtics in revent history. Considering the deal also saved Steve Ballmer about $30M in luxury tax, the argument can be made that it shouldn’t. In the scenario it is, the Clippers could have some potential targets that would really upgrade the roster. Here are three potential options.
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NBA Power Rankings

1] Milwakuee Bucks

        It’s hard to not put the defending champions at the top slot going into a new season, prior to any sort of transactions or the draft occurs. Namely when said team is projected to return the key pieces that propelled them to making it to the promised land and coming out victorious. To boot, the Bucks will get a, hopefully, healthy Donte DiVincenzo along with further internal improvement and avenues to add to their title winning squad.

2] Brooklyn Nets

       Like most teams, the Brooklyn Nets experienced the injury bug first hand, as Kyrie Irving and James Harden missed time throughout the postseason run, while Spencer Dinwiddie never recovered from a season ending injury during the regular season. Nets will return the services of the one of the greatest trio’s to join up together, and hope that they can get in the good graces of the basketball Gods en route to a title run in 2021-22.
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Three Draft Night Targets For The Clippers

       With the 2021 National Basketball Association just under a week away, the Clippers have a lot of work to do as they hold the 25th overall selection. With Los Angeles’ chest being relatively empty, as far as draft picks go, Lawrence Frank and his cohorts will look to make the right decision to get depth and youth. Here are three realistic targets, I would love to see the front office snag.

Ayo Dosunmu

        Dosunmnu spent three solid seasons with the Fighting Illini of Illinois, having been named the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player and winning the Bob Cousy award, for the best point guard in the nation during his junior, and final, campaign at college.

Ayo has solid size to play either guard position, having checked in at 6’5″ with shoes during the campaign and a wing span that is just over 6’10”. Looking at various pundits mock drafts, Ayo’s sweet spot seems to be around the 28-35 range, which is perfect as the Clippers own the 25th selection. 

Dosunmnu would fit in well with the Clipper roster right off the bat, as he can run an offense with the best of them, in the draft, due to his uncanny ability to find the open man, and tendency to pick and choose, correctly, when he should look for his own shot or make his squad eat. 

Defensively, Ayo does a good job of staying in front of his man and is exceptional at playing the passing lanes. His team defense awareness is also spectacular, and would fit in well with the zone defense that head coach, Tyrone Lue, likes to throw out and did so with great efficacy in the playoffs. 

Even Rees Woodock of agrees that the Clippers are the very best fit for the crafty guard. Clipperholic’s Ryan Snelling & Evan Desai are also in agreement that Dosunmu would fit in well in Southern California. Here’s a nice three-minute highlight clip for your viewing pleasure. 

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