Ahead of February’s NBA trade deadline, it’s possible that the Los Angeles Clippers could be among the teams looking to sell.
Per a new report from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Clippers are not assuming that Paul George will be back this season as he recovers from a torn elbow ligament. Add in that it’s unknown if Kawhi Leonard will play this season as he recovers from a torn ACL, and that could mean Los Angeles looks to deal some of the older players on its roster.
From Fischer’s report:
Rival executives have since gathered that Los Angeles is willing to discuss the majority of its veteran roster in trade scenarios. “They’re pretty much open for business for anyone except their main guys and Terance Mann. I think they really are fine falling out of the playoffs and regrouping for next year,” said one Western Conference official. “I think they’re trying to shed the Marcus Morrises of the world, guys that have some value and maybe can replace them with younger talent, maybe cheaper [contracts], to free them to get someone else this summer.”
Notably, the Clippers do not have a first-round pick in next year’s draft because they dealt it away when they acquired George in a sign-and-trade. So, in theory, there’s no real benefit of them tanking to finish out the year in hopes of landing a higher pick. However, it stands to reason they could try to flip a veteran into draft capital while giving younger players minutes this year before Leonard and George return in 2022-23.