Clippers Well-Positioned To Pursue Roster Upgrade

The Clippers‘ collection of trade assets puts them in a better position than many rival contenders to upgrade their roster at the deadline, according to one rival NBA executive who spoke to Sean Deveney of

“They’re the team that’s doing more talking (than the Lakers),” the executive said of the Clippers, per Deveney. “They’re in better position. They’ve got everything you want if you’re looking to get assets back for players. They have a draft pick, they have expiring contracts they can give up, they have really good, interesting young players. They’re in a great position to help themselves.”

As Deveney observes, the Clippers have traded away a handful of future picks but aren’t prohibited from trading their 2020 first-rounder, since they still control both it and their 2021 pick. And unlike a handful of other contenders, they have a movable contract in the mid-level range — Maurice Harkless is making $11MM in the last year of his contract, and while he has been a solid defender for Los Angeles, his offensive game is limited.

The Clippers are actively seeking help at power forward, according to Deveney, who notes that the team has at least expressed interest in Thaddeus Young (Bulls) and Marcus Morris (Knicks). Sources tell Deveney that the Clips believe they have the necessary assets to make a deal for Morris if they so choose, but will continue to scour the trade market.

While Harkless and a first-round pick would be a strong enough package for an upgrade, the Clippers also have young players who may intrigue teams. Even if the club isn’t willing to move Montrezl Harrell – who will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end – or Landry Shamet, players like Jerome Robinson and rookies Terance Mann and Mfiondu Kabengele could appeal to trade partners.

“Both of those guys are NBA players,” that same exec told Deveney, referring to Mann and Kabengele. “We had a lot of discussion about both of them at the draft, they’re strong, NBA bodies, they play both ways. How good? That would be the question, but they’re both NBA players.”

The Clippers have four more weeks to make a deal before the February 6 trade deadline.

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23 thoughts on “Clippers Well-Positioned To Pursue Roster Upgrade

  1. amk3510

    The Lakers have their pick too. Why is it the anonymous execs always have something ridiculous to say? Robinson, Mann and Kabengele get praise yet I remeber hearing a rival GM once say Ingram wasn’t valuable. Im sure west contenders are absolutely shook at the thought of the Clippers landing Thaddeus Young.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      The Lakers already gave away most of their assets for AD.

    • Luke Adams

      The Lakers do have their pick, but can’t trade it since they’ve already traded the 2021 first-rounder. They also don’t have a contract like Harkless’ that could be easily used to match a player in the $13-15MM range like Young/Morris.

      That doesn’t mean they won’t be able to find an upgrade (especially if they’re willing to move Kuzma), but they might have to get a little more creative.

      • amk3510

        Thats fair but I dont really see much out on the market. KCP makes a decent amount for matching purposes but since he is a Rich Paul client thats pretty much a no trade.

        • Luke Adams

          Yeah, KCP would be the ideal Harkless-like contract to flip, but he, Rondo, and McGee can all veto trades, which is another complication the Lakers would have to work around. It’s not impossible for them to do something — there are just a lot of obstacles.

  2. kenleyfornia2

    Im willing to bet that Jerry West is planning on adding a star guard at some point in the near future. That will definitly come at the expense of upgrading around the edges at the deadline.

  3. Tazza

    Clippers if they could get Thad Young would be even stronger, I really like that idea.

    Maybe they could do Thad Young and Denzel Valentine for Maurice Harkless and Jerome Robinson. Maybe throw in a second rounder or two if needed

    Bulls get Harkless who gives them depth behind the 3 and 4. It also gives Markeneen more minutes at the 4 with Young gone. Robinson is would be a good pick up as a back up SG with good potential. Meanwhile the Clippers get Thad Young who is committed to a nice deal which helps them contend and Valentine who might be a good back up shooter if needed.

    1. Beverly. Shamet
    2. George. Williams
    3. Leonard. McGruder. Valentine
    4. Young. Green. Patterson
    5. Zubac. Harrell

    Leonard 6’7, George 6’8, Young 6’8 could all take switches on SG-PF. Beverly is a stopper at the PG position which leaves the only hole at C, where you have Zubac who at 7’0 is pretty good in his 18 minutes he plays. Harrell and Will on the bench oooooooww that’s good

  4. Real 2K Insider

    If the Lakers are adding anyone it’s via the buyout market anyway. Their roster is pretty set anyway and they have the best record in the conference.

    Whereas the Clippers actually need help, about to drop into 5th with a star that only plays 70-75% of his games.

    • Tazza

      That’s the thing tho. Lakers are first place and Bron and AD aren’t resting. Bron is 35.
      Clippers have rested their best player a lot in Leonard and will still make the playoffs. As it gets closer to playoffs they might play Leonard more in order to have a better playoff match up but they are cool taking the regular season easy.

      It’s all about the playoffs and come playoffs the Clippers will have a fully fit and not exhausted Leonard who can take games over, the Lakers will be strong but how tired will LBJ be and is AD going to be completely injury free

      • Chris

        Lakers can rest at the end of the year when they have wrapped up the one seed. Clippers gonna find themselves in a dog fight to get out of the first round and quite possibly may meet the Lakers in the semi final. 2 differing philosophies, we will see how it pans out.

      • Tazza

        Lakers can rest the first round against the Spurs/Thunder/Blazers whereas Clippers will have a hard time against Nuggets/Rockets/Jazz but Leonard would have missed about 25 games with rest throughout the year and be ready to go.
        Lakers will get to rest what 1 week of playoffs before potentially having to play the Clippers.
        Without looking at the teams Im taking the team the eased through the year and rested its best player over the year that tried really really hard all year and is probably starting to feel tired

  5. implant

    I hope so. The uber hyped clippers need some help. Meanwhile the lakers have built a true team. They are a tight group and have, after many many years created a winning culture. They should sign Collison if given the chance but need to keep rondo on the team (and off the court). he is a big part of their team culture.

  6. greg1

    Best value trade for Clips is likely Morris. Bet you Harkless, Robinson and a 2nd is all it would take. Salaries work almost to the dollar.

  7. Skip, Tampa

    Morris trade could work out for the Clippers. It would definitely cost the 2020 1st along with Harkless and Jerome. Those 2 players for Young is also very workable with a 2nd.
    As for the Lakers, they are pretty set except at PG. Know a team with PG’s that needs a PF at the moment.
    Lakers: Winslow
    Heat: Kuzma, Cousins, Cool
    Heat waive Cousins and he can resign with Lakers on a prorated minimum deal.
    Ok, it’s not the Blockbuster Laker fans crave. Certainly very workable for both teams.

    • Ironmonger835

      You have not watched many Bulls games this season if you think Thad Young is doing good. He’s been terrible this season.

    • MarlinsFanBase

      Um, what would a trade of Winslow for Kuzma do for the Heat? We’re not making a trade that doesn’t make absolute sense for us to go to the next level. We’re okay with seeing what we are right now and build on that.

  8. hoosierhysteria

    T Young is good teammate and plays hard. Bulls coaches are the problem. Jerry west will take him.

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    If the Clippers want a PF. Then Portis is a better fit. Where I think Morris fits Lakers better. There is no strong #1 seed. In either East or west this yr. It’s why I believe both LA teams. Will try and make a move. Plus they can always pick up a player. Who gets bought out. Thad Young is a good way to go. For Clippers, keep an eye on that.

    • Tazza

      Portis is not a good fit for any team he’s trash.
      Lakers and Clippers both want experience players who have proven ability that’s not Portis.

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