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.
Both George and Leonard will likely hit free agency following the 2020-21 season. Further struggles contending for a championship could cement a divorce between the two future Hall of Fame forwards. Could the Clippers now look to pull off a shocking trade for another generational talent? It’s possible.
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.
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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.