Clippers In Market For Additional Frontcourt Depth

The Clippers‘ front office and head coach Tyronn Lue are “aligned” on the need for additional frontcourt depth behind center Ivica Zubac, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Zubac is currently the only traditional center on the Clippers’ 15-man roster, so the team has been leaning on forwards like Nicolas Batum and Marcus Morris to spend time at the five in small-ball lineups. Two-way big man Moses Brown is also an option in the middle, but Los Angeles only appears comfortable deploying him sparingly.

As Fischer notes, Myles Turner and Jakob Poeltl are the two most intriguing centers who are in contract years and are considered potential trade candidates — a report last week stated that Turner has drawn interest from the Clippers. However, Fischer believes L.A. may desire a more “switchable” center who can be used in “zippier” lineups without resorting to full-fledged small ball.

Backup centers who can capably switch onto and defend guards or forwards aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, so it’s unclear which players around the NBA the Clippers might be monitoring.

Last week’s report on Turner suggested that the Clippers might look to trade from their wing depth in a deal for a center. Batum and Robert Covington are among the wings whose playing time has dipped this season as the club attempts to find minutes for several vets who are accustomed to playing regular rotation roles. Minutes will be even harder to come by for the players further down the depth chart if and when Kawhi Leonard starts playing regularly, so a consolidation trade using a forward or two would make sense.

The Clippers have dealt away their 2024 and 2026 first-round picks, but could include their 2028 or 2029 first-rounder in a trade offer. They also have a $9.7MM trade exception that could come in handy if they’re eyeing a player earning less than the mid-level.

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