Toronto’s Serge Ibaka would be the ideal free agent addition for the Clippers, but that can only happen if he’s willing to accept a discount to remain with a contending team, writes Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Ibaka is a better-than-average three-point shooter at 38.5% and a strong defender both at the rim and on the perimeter. Buha sees him as an improvement over Montrezl Harrell in spacing the floor, rebounding and on defense.
However, the Clippers are limited to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which is expected to fall between $9MM and $10MM. He’s likely to see better offers, but Ibaka has played on winning teams for nearly his entire career and may value the chance to contend for a title in L.A.
If the Clippers can’t land Ibaka, Buha sees Miami’s Goran Dragic and Jae Crowder as alternatives. Dragic is masterful on the pick-and-roll and capable of scoring in a variety of ways. Crowder could be a replacement for Marcus Morris if the veteran wing doesn’t re-sign.
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- With the Pelicans talking about trading Jrue Holiday, Anthony Slater of The Athletic examines whether he makes sense for the three Pacific teams expected to be in the title hunt. Holiday would give the Clippers a secondary playmaker next to Kawhi Leonard, a need that became obvious in the playoffs, and would be part of a dangerous defensive unit alongside Leonard and Paul George. However, the Clippers are low on assets after last summer’s trade to acquire George. The Lakers are in the same position in the wake of the Anthony Davis deal. They can offer Kyle Kuzma or Alex Caruso, but Slater notes that executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin passed on both players last year. The Warriors have the No. 2 pick in the draft, but matching salaries for Holiday would be difficult, assuming the Pelicans don’t want to take back Andrew Wiggins or Draymond Green.
- Although Richaun Holmes is coming off a breakthrough year, the Kings might consider drafting a center, especially if USC’s Onyeka Okongwu is still available at No. 12, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic. Okongwu can defend on the perimeter and runs the floor, which Jones says are qualities the Kings like in their big men.
- Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype examines how the Lakers can keep their best free agents and still add a significant piece with the MLE without going over the tax apron.