3 moves the Los Angeles Clippers must make after extending Tyronn Lue, including re-signing Paul George

The Los Angeles Clippers signed Tyronn Lue to a massive contract extension on Wednesday.

Los Angeles Clippers, Tyronn Lue

The Los Angeles Clippers made some absolutely huge news on Wednesday. No, it has nothing to do with a blockbuster trade following their first-round exit in the NBA Playoffs.

Rather, it’s all about the bench.

Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report that the Clippers have signed head coach Tyronn Lue to a massive five-year extension worth nearly $70 million.

This comes amid some rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers were targeting Lue as a replacement for the recently-fired Darvin Ham. This seemed to be a highly unlikely scenario given that Lue was under contract before signing this extension.

The respected head coach also confirmed his extension later on Wednesday.

“This is where I want to be. I’ve loved coaching this team for the past four years and I’m excited to head into a new era at Intuit Dome. I’m grateful to Steve, Lawrence and the entire organization for the opportunity. With our ownership, front office, roster, staff and arena, we have all the advantages we need to win in the present and the future, and I’m confident we will.”

Tyronn Lue said, via the Los Angeles Clippers official website

Now comes the tough work for Los Angeles after it was ousted by Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Even with future Hall of Famers Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Russell Westbrook on the roster; these Clippers are not top-end title contenders.

Without much draft capital to work with, upgrading the roster via a trade is going to be difficult. George will opt out of his contract and join Harden and Westbrook in free agency.

Related: Los Angeles Clippers may let market determine Paul George’s contract extension

3 moves the Los Angeles Clippers must make after extending Tyronn Lue

Los Angeles Clippers' Paul George
Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
  • Re-sign Paul George: This is the most obvious path to continued contention. Los Angeles brought in George and Leonard ahead of the 2019-20 season. They are tied at the hip. It makes no sense to let George walk in free agency after signing Leonard to a three-year, $149.65 million contract extension back in January. George is going to have his options. He’s already being linked to the Philadelphia 76ers. But the Southern California native would prefer remaining home if all things (finances) are equal.
  • Re-sign Russell Westbrook: Did Westbrook struggle at times in the NBA Playoffs? Yes. Is he no longer the player that won the NBA MVP earlier in his career? No. Can he still be a contributor on a smallish contract? Yes. At this stage, Westbrook is likely looking at a veteran minimum deal if the 35-year-old wants to finish up shop on a contender.
  • Trade James Harden: The Los Angeles Clippers would technically have to take someone to rid themselves of Norman Powell’s contract and a bit more cap room in order to pull off a Harden sign-and-trade. This would also have to take place before George re-signs with the team. But it’s pretty darn clear that Harden is not a fit in Southern California. His one season proved this to a T. Depending on how the sign-and-trade market plays out, the Clippers could round out their roster better by trading Harden.

Related: Latest Los Angeles Clippers news and rumors

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