3 Los Angeles Clippers trade scenarios to make team NBA title contender

Aug 20, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) talks with referee Marc Davis (8) after the second quarter in an NBA basketball first round playoff game of the 2020 NBA playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers trade rumors have included the team going after some pretty big fish since a premature departure in the 2019-20 NBA Playoffs. Unfortunately, Los Angeles does not seem to have the draft-pick assets or young players to pull off a move of this ilk.

Instead, Los Angeles replaced reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner Montrezl Harrell with a more well-rounded Serge Ibaka. The team also traded Landry Shamet for sharpshooting wing Luke Kennard while signing Nicolas Batum.

Despite this, there’s still some concern that these Clippers remain a step behind their Southern California rivals in that of the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. Here’s a look at three Clippers trade scenarios that could turn the team into a legit contender with the 2020-21 season slated to start in the matter of weeks.

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Clippers trade Paul George to the Rockets for James Harden

Trade details

  • Clippers get: James Harden, P.J. Tucker
  • Rockets get: Paul George, Patrick Beverley

Without the necessary draft pick assets to entice Houston, these Clippers opt to trade Paul George after one pretty disappointing season in Southern California.

From a Rockets perspective, the idea of being able to add George and Beverley would make sense in that they could end up trading both for assets as the team looks to retool on the fly. The only question here is whether Houston would trade Harden without bringing back multiple first-round picks and young players. That seems to be less-than-ideal plan without new general manager Rafael Stone having other moves worked out for George and Beverley.

Los Angeles would then team a great two-way player in Kawhi Leonard with one of the best scorers in modern NBA history. This could very well be enough to challenge the Lakers’ big two in that of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

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Clippers trade with Hornets for Terry Rozier

Trade details

  • Clippers get: Terry Rozier, future first-round pick
  • Hornets get: Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams

It’s not a secret that Los Angeles has been looking for a legitimate starting point guard. Hence, why Williams is seemingly on the trade block heading into the 2020-21 NBA season. For their part, the Hornets have an excess of guards after selecting LaMelo Ball No. 3 overall in the draft earlier this month.

For Charlotte, the idea would be to use Williams’ expiring contract to find another veteran at a position of need. Meanwhile, Beverley would help Ball make the transition to the NBA stage.

On the other hand, Los Angeles adds another potential 20-point scorer to team up with George and Leonard. Rozier averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 41% from three-point range in his first season with the Hornets. He’d be a nice No. 3 option.

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Clippers trade with Pacers for Victor Oladipo

Trade details

Will the Los Angeles Clippers trade for Victor Oladipo?
August 6, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers warms up prior to the start of the game against Phoenix Suns at Visa Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
  • Clippers get: Victor Oladipo, two second-round picks
  • Pacers get: Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams

Noticing a trend here? Los Angeles is clearly looking to upgrade at point guard. While taking on Oladipo on the final year of his contract would be a high-risk move, it’s something the team’s brass must seriously consider. Buy low on the injury-plagued All-Star guard while giving up two assets that don’t fit into your long-term future.

If healthy, Oladipo would provide the Clippers with that third scorer behind George and Leonard. Heck, we’re talking about three All-Stars and tremendous two-way players.

For the Pacers, it’s rather simple. Acquire more depth in the backcourt to team up with Malcolm Brogdon. Adding Beverley and Williams to the mix would do just that. A starting five of Beverley, Brogdon, T.J. Warren, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner with Williams coming off the bench would be pretty darn strong.