While Los Angeles finally replaced Doc Rivers with Tyrone Lue as the head coach, plenty of the same problems have rolled over from the abysmal loss to the Denver Nuggets in the Orlando bubble. For the most part, the Lawrence Frank did a great job to update the roster, by signing Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum while retaining Reggie Jackson and Amir Coffey, the latter on a two-way deal.
Frank also left some glaring holes, as the Clippers still lack a “true point guard” to maintain the second unit. Giving the extension to Luke Kennard was also quite head scratching, as the wing was coming off an injury riddled season. Though, acquiring Kennard and four second round picks for Landry Shamet was quite a coup for the front office.
As the trade deadline is a few weeks away, the Clippers are up against the wall due to the hard cap, which was triggered when utilizing the Mid Level Exception to secure Serge Ibaka. Due to the Paul George deal, the franchise lacks first round picks to throw in a trade. Here is a very boring three-way propsal with the Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings.
Wizards Out: Raul Neto, Bulls 2023 2nd Round Selection (31-40 Protected, if not conveyed, extinguished)
Wizards In: Jahmi’us Ramsey, Clippers 2022 2nd Round Selection, Blazers 2023 Second Round Selection (From LA; 31-40 Protected, if not conveyed, Clippers send Wizards own 2023 Second Round Selection)
Why for Washington: Despite the solid play of Neto, the Wizards decide to save a little bit of money here by acquiring the cost-controlled Ramsey, who has another two years left on his minimal deal with the second being a non-guarantee. Washington also adds an additional second rounder, which seems to be shaped up for the “double draft.” Washington is the biggest concern for me, as I’m not sure they want to give up Neto as they try to remain competitive to appease Bradley Beal.
Kings Out: Jahmi’us Ramsey
Kings In: Mfioundu Kabengele, Bulls 2023 2nd Round Selection (31-40 Protected, if not conveyed, extinguished), Clippers 2024 2nd Round Selection, cash to cover Kabengele’s salary difference from Clippers
Why for Sacramento: Kings decide to kick the tires on a big man that seems to be made for the modern NBA, as he has the confidence and ability to hit from behind the arc, while likes to chase for blocks along with adding a second round pick or two. Most governors also wouldn’t be against adding some extra money to their pocket.
Clippers Out: Mfioundu Kabengele, Clippers 2022 2nd Round Selection, Blazers 2023 Second Round Selection (From LA; 31-40 Protected, if not conveyed, Clippers send Wizards own 2023 Second Round Selection), Clippers 2024 2nd Round Selection, cash to cover Kabengele’s salary difference from Clippers
Clippers In: Raul Neto
Why for Los Angeles: Pay a relatively hefty price to upgrade the backup point guard slot, churning out three second round picks and the money to cover Kabengele’s salary, but the Clippers get what they need, a floor general off the bench while dropping enough salary under the hard cap to play the buy-out market or sign an additional big man for the last slot. Names like Jordan Bell and DeWayne Dedmon pop to mind.
After the deal, the Clippers depth chart looks like:
PG: Patrick Beverley | Raul Neto | Reggie Jackson
SG: Paul George | Lou Williams | Luke Kennard | Jay Scrubb (2W)
SF: Kawhi Leonard | Terrence Mann | Amri Coffey (2W)
PF: Nicolas Batum | Marcus Morris | Patrick Patterson
CE: Serge Ibaka | Ivica Zubac | Daniel Oturu | (Free Agent)