The Los Angeles Clippers appear to be buyers ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. Earlier in the day, it was reported that the team is interested in Detroit Pistons All-Star center Andre Drummond.
Clearly looking for frontcourt help, the Clippers are also reportedly in on Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star big man Kevin Love.
“The Clippers have been aggressive, no surprise considering they have the $11.5 million Mo Harkless contract and a first round pick to deal,” Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported. “Considering if LA doesn’t trade the pick it can’t deal another one until we colonize Mars, there is some urgency in the LA front office to get a deal done. The Clippers have kicked the tires on Kevin Love and could grab disgruntled Kings center Dewayne Dedmon.”
The Mars reference is hilarious in that Mannix is not wrong. Los Angeles has multiple outgoing first-round picks over the next several years after acquiring Paul George in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder during the summer. This includes first rounders in 2022, 2024 and 2026.
NBA rules strictly prohibit teams from trading their first-round picks in consecutive years short of said team adding another first-rounder from another squad. Hence, Los Angeles being in a pinch to be able to trade its 2020 first-rounder for proven talent.
Love, 31, has been on the block all season. He’s set to count $91-plus million against the cap over the next three seasons. That’s going to be a hard sell.
What we do know is that Los Angeles being able to add a stretch four of Love’s ilk to team up with George and Kawhi Leonard would be a boon on the court.
The five-time All-Star is averaging 17.8 points and 9.8 rebounds on a robust 38% shooting from distance this season.