It remains to be seen how long Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will be teaming up in Southern California. Following a surprising second-round exit in the NBA Playoffs, this has led to Los Angeles Clippers rumors suggesting a win-now move could be in the cards.
Prior to recent news that Paul George has agreed to an extension, both him and Leonard were slated to his free agency next summer. Now that George is locked in long-term, there’s a lot of other things to look at.
Los Angeles Clippers rumors: Team will likely trade both Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley
We’ve heard about the chemistry issues in Los Angeles under recently-fired head coach Doc Rivers. That includes both Leonard and George reportedly receiving preferential treatment. It could also potentially lead to two of the team’s most-notable role players being traded.
“They’ve ultimately talked about chemistry issues, so I’m shocked Lou Williams is still there. I’m shocked Pat Beverley is still there. I can’t imagine (them) being on the team much longer,” Sam Amick of The Athletic reported recently.
This is somewhat surprising given that the Clippers are in clear win-now mode. It was previously noted that Lou Williams could be had in a trade. But adding Beverley to the mix makes very little sense. These two veteran guards averaged a combined 26.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists a season ago. Now that Montrezl Harrell is on the Lakers, it’s important for the Clippers to find scoring behind George and Leonard.
Los Angeles was able to add the likes of Luke Kennard and Serge Ibaka during the offseason. Kennard’s outside shooting ability will come in handy should the Clippers move on from both Williams and Beverley. Even then, it’s hard to imagine this team improving if it were to move these two veterans without adding a top-flight point guard to the mix.
Updated: Dec. 13, 6:45 PM EST
Los Angeles Clippers rumors: A look at what’s next following Paul George extension
Even after some major struggles in the playoffs, Los Angeles opted to extend Paul George on a four-year, $190 million deal that links him to the Clippers over the next five seasons. We can argue until we’re blue in the face whether this extension made sense for the Clips. After all, George will be earning $48.7 million during his Age-35 season. It’s obvious Los Angeles is all in. So what could be next?
The 29-year-old Leonard has an option of $36.02 million for the 2021-22 season. It stands to reason that the former NBA Finals MVP will opt out of said contract and hit free agency during the summer. However, Los Angeles might also look to take care of him on a long-term deal ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season in less than two weeks. It remains to be seen whether Leonard would be open to that.
There were previous rumors linking the Clippers to a potential blockbuster trade. James Harden was atop said rumors. Now that George has inked his extension, that’s not going to happen. He was the one legit trade chip Los Angeles had in a potential move for Harden. Other than that, Los Angeles does not have the young talent and/or draft picks to acquire another star. It also doesn’t necessarily have the cap room to take on a huge contract.
With that said, there’s a possibility Lou Williams could be had in a trade. If the Clippers were to include Patrick Beverley and his salary, they could potentially upgrade at point guard. That’s been a major focus this offseason. Williams and Beverley would enable Los Angeles to bring back a salary of $21-plus million. Pure speculation here, but someone like Hornets guard Terry Rozier makes sense.
Updated: Dec. 10, 2:53 PM EST
Los Angeles Clippers rumors: Team remains “fully committed” to Paul George
There’s been something brewing behind the scenes in Los Angeles. A recent wide-ranging report indicates that treatment stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George received under then head coach Doc Rivers last season created a rift in the locker room. There’s now suggestions that a toxic culture exists within the organization.
The backdrop here are relatively quiet rumors that the Clippers are looking to make a splash ahead of the start of the 2020-21 NBA season in about two weeks. If so, George could potentially be dealt. Coming off a disastrous playoff performance, George will likely opt out of his contract and hit free agency once the 2020-21 season comes to a conclusion. However, the Clippers are reportedly fully committed to him moving forward.
Related: James Harden trade scenarios
“The Clippers remain fully committed to George as part of their program,” Sam Amick of The Athletic reported recently. This was in response to rumors that the Clippers are interested in adding disgruntled Houston Rockets star James Harden in a trade. Obviously, George would have to be included in said trade. More down the road, the Clippers are also going to show interest in two-time reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo should he become a free agent next summer.
George, 30, averaged 21.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists on 44% shooting from the field in his first season with the Clippers. This represented his worst performance since all the way back in 2012-13.
Updated: Dec. 9, 11:14 PM EST
Los Angeles Clippers rumors: Team to sign Nicolas Batum
The Clippers are still attempting to fill out their depth chart after signing Serge Ibaka and acquiring Luke Kennard in a trade. That will now apparently include signing veteran forward Nicolas Batum, who was just waived by the Charlotte Hornets to make room for free-agent signing Gordon Hayward.
Batum, 31, was waived by Charlotte for financial reasons after averaging under four points in 23 minutes of action a season ago.
The France native was among the more underrated wing in the NBA over the course of the past decade before falling off the cliff in 2019-20. In fact, Batum averaged 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists on 36% shooting from distance between 2009-19. He should help replace the scoring Los Angeles lost when Montrezl Harrell signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles Clippers depth chart
- Point guard: Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Ky Bowman
- Shooting guard: Paul George, Luke Kennard, Terance Mann
- Center: Ivica Zubac, Serge Ibaka, Joakim Noah
- Power forward: Marcus Morris, Patrick Peterson, Daniel Oturu
- Small forward: Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum
Updated: Nov. 29, 3:03 PM EST
Los Angeles Clippers rumors: Lou Williams trade coming?
The Clippers have had a relatively quiet offseason thus far. That has included swapping Landry Shamet for Luke Kennard and replacing Montrezl Harrell with Serge Ibaka.
While the team is still looking to pull off a blockbuster (scroll down), one name has come up in trade talks. According to Marc Stein of The NY Times (via newsletter), rival teams believe that the Clippers want to trade veteran guard Lou Williams.
Williams, 34, averaged 18.2 points and 5.6 assists on 35% shooting from distance a season ago. That came after he topped 20 points per game in each of the past two years. The three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner can flat out score the ball. Add in an expiring deal at $8 million for the 2020-21 season, and there promises to be a ton of interest should the Clippers actually put Williams on the block.
It’s not yet known if Los Angeles is seeking salary cap relief or wants to add depth at another position. If it is the former, the division-rival Golden State Warriors and their Klay Thompson injured player exception could come into play here.
Updated: Nov. 25, 8:33 PM EST
Los Angeles Clippers rumors: Team looking to trade for another superstar?
Following a premature playoff exit, the Clippers have done pretty well to maintain the status quo during the first week or so of the offseason. That included bringing in Serge Ibaka to replace Montrezl Harrell, acquiring Luke Kennard in a trade and re-signing Marcus Morris to a four-year deal.
However, there’s some around the league who believe these moves were simply set up in order for the Clippers to pull off a blockbuster trade.
“If you ask around the NBA, people expect the Clippers to have something special up their sleeves,” Los Angeles Times NBA insider Dan Woike reported Sunday.
It’s not yet known how the Clippers can pull off a mega-deal without the necessary draft pick assets and young players on their roster. Realistically, it would have to be Jerry West doing something magical. It’s something we’ve seen from the Logo during his front office career.
The need here is point guard after missing out on Rajon Rondo to the Atlanta Hawks in free agency. Reportedly, the Clippers have kicked the tires on trading for Terry Rozier. He could be available after the Charlotte Hornets selected LaMelo Ball No. 3 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Despite this, there’s no logical reason to believe Los Angeles could acquire someone like James Harden unless the team opts to move on from Paul George. Mathematically, that’s impossible given their roster make up right now. Rozier might be the ceiling in a trade.
Updated: Nov. 22, 11:10 PM EST
Los Angeles Clippers rumors: Team acquires Luke Kennard, trades Landry Shamet
Rumors have been somewhat quiet on the Clippers’ front during the early stages of the NBA offseason. That changed big time during the first-round of the 2020 NBA Draft. Without a selection until pick 57, Los Angeles got into the mix via a three-team trade with the Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets.
In said deal, the Clippers acquired sharpshooting wing Luke Kennard from the Pistons while sending youngster Landry Shamet to Brooklyn. In return, Detroit acquired the 19th pick in Wednesday’s draft (Saddiq Bey).
The reality of the situation is that Los Angeles valued Kennard more than Shamet. It’s that simple. A first-round pick of the Pistons back in 2017, Kennard averaged a career-best 15.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting at a resounding 40% from three-point range.
As for Shamet, he never really excelled in Southern California after being acquired in the Tobias Harris trade during the 2018-19 season. This past season saw the former Philadelphia 76ers first-round pick average less than 10 points. However, he will help the Nets from an outside shooting perspective. Shamet is a career 40% three-point shooter.
Updated: Nov. 15, 10:29 PM EST
Los Angeles Clippers rumors: Rajon Rondo to man the point?
It looks like NBA champion Rajon Rondo might very well be switching Los Angeles teams. On the day day it was reported that the Lakers acquired fellow point guard Dennis Schroder in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder comes this piece of Clippers-related news.
As you might remember (scroll below), the Clippers have been linked to former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook in a trade. It remains to be seen whether going after Rondo would change the dynamic in that regard. As of right now, the Clippers’ depth chart at point guard includes Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams. However, the former could potentially be traded.
Rondo, 34, averaged 7.1 points, 3.0 rebound and 5.0 assists on 42% shooting for the Lakers a season ago. It remains to be seen if he’s still viewed as a starter-caliber point guard.
Los Angeles Clippers rumors: Interested in a trade for Russell Westbrook
“It is interesting the last 24 hours. I did have multiple sources that I trust tell me that teams believe Russell Westbrook could be had,” Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported recently. “And I’ve heard the Clippers have interest, I’ve heard the Knicks have interest in Westbrook, and whether anything materializes there, who knows? Who knows? But the fact is that there is a belief that a guy like Westbrook could become available.”
It isn’t necessarily a surprise that rumors suggest the Clippers want to add another star to team up with Leonard and George. The decision to move on from longtime head coach Doc Rivers and replace him with Tyronn Lue added another layer to this. Los Angeles is in win-now mode. The team’s front office is going to take that into account during the offseason.
However, it is a surprise that Westbrook’s name would come up in rumors. George requested a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder after two disappointing seasons as Westbrook’s teammate. While there’s no suggestions that a rift existed between the two, it certainly is something to focus on.
As for how a potential trade might work, it’s complicated.
Los Angeles Clippers rumors: How could the team pull off a Russell Westbrook trade?
The Houston Rockets’ decision to move Chris Paul and multiple first-round picks to OKC for Westbrook ahead of the 2019-20 season backfired. It led to another early playoff departure as well as the exits of general manager Daryl Morey and head coach Mike D’Antoni.
More than anything, that had to do with Westbrook’s bloated contract. He’s set to count a combined $132-plus million against the cap over the next three seasons. This has led to rumors that Russ is not a tradable commodity. Despite his still-awe inspiring numbers on the court, there’s something to be said about a fit, too.
Heck, we’re not even sure that the Rockets are looking to trade Westbrook. They hired former Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas to be their next head coach. Silas brought in veteran head coaches John Lucas and Jeff Hornacek to assist him. This seems to suggest Houston is still in win-now mode.
That would complicate things when it comes to a potential Westbrook trade to Los Angeles. This doesn’t even take into account the finances.
Looking at it broadly, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Ivica Zubac would have to head to Houston. Los Angeles would then have to add five other players, including key rotational pieces in that of Landry Shamet and Rodney McGruder, in order to even make the finances work.
Related: Top 50 players in the NBA
An eight-for-one trade in today’s NBA. That would be a rarity. The good news here is that Houston would not be in position to ask for draft capital. Moving on from Westbrook’s bloated contract while adding Beverley, Williams, Zubac and a stud youngster in Shamet would make it a win for Houston.
As for Los Angeles, it would then has to fill out the remainder of the team’s roster with veteran minimum players. Given the economic reality in the NBA today due to COVID-19, there’s a chance the Clippers could get some solid role players. However, it would certainly be a risk.
Bookmark this page for more Los Angeles Clippers rumors throughout the entirety of the NBA offseason. It will be updated on a regular basis.