Los Angeles Clippers: 5 Trades That Could Help Solidify Championship Team
Los Angeles Clippers: 5 Potential Trades
The Los Angeles Clippers have all the pieces to make a championship run. Well, almost all the pieces. They have a superstar point guard in Chris Paul, emerging big men in Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, plus the right coach to bring it all together. Doc Rivers has stressed the importance of defense, something the Clippers lacked over the years. There are a few holes on the roster, however, and the Clippers might need to make some moves if they want to be considered serious contenders.
The Clippers lack depth at the power forward and center positions. Antawn Jamison is a non-factor and Byron Mullens hasn’t lived up to expectations. Rivers is still looking for the right combination of backup big men, something that wasn’t a problem for Vinny Del Negro last season. He had Lamar Odom and Ronny Turiaf, veteran big men with championship experience. Rivers has been forced to rely on Mullens and Ryan Hollins, which might come back to bite him in the end.
The Clippers are missing an elite perimeter defender. Jared Dudley and Matt Barnes are tough players, but neither is considered a lockdown defender. J.J. Redick is an offensive machine, but defense has never been his strong suit. Jamal Crawford and the word defense don’t even belong in the same sentence together.
Lastly, the Clippers could really use an athletic wing player. Besides Paul and Crawford, no Clipper player can create their own shot on the perimeter. An athletic small forward, one that can defend and get to the basket, would be a huge addition to the team.
Here are a few trade ideas the Clippers could explore and the probability of them happening.
Antawn Jamison for Perry Jones
Jamison is reaching the end of his career and figures he has one last shot to win a championship. That’s why he signed with the Clippers during the offseason even though he knew his role would be limited. I’m not sure if he knew it would be this limited; Jamison is yet to see the court this season.
A way to satisfy both Jamison and the Clippers would be to trade him to another title contender while receiving a big man prospect in return. Jamison could see spot minutes for a team like the Oklahoma City Thunder while the Clippers add young talent. Also, if Odom returns as rumored, it would make Jamison’s role even more obsolete.
Probability: I wouldn’t be surprised if Jamison is gone before the trade deadline.
J.J. Redick for Alec Burks and Brandon Rush
Buy low, sell high, that’s what I’ve been told. A four-year deal worth $24 million isn’t really that low, but Redick has proven early that he is worth the price. He is off to a hot start, and the Clippers could capitalize if the right opportunity presented itself. The Clippers have depth at the shooting guard position, with Crawford, Willie Green and rookie Reggie Bullock, so they could afford to deal Redick.
Probability: The Clippers are happy with Redick’s production, so it’s unlikely he gets traded. This trade would allow them to unload his contract, though, and pick up a talented young prospect.
J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, Reggie Bullock and Maalik Wayns for Danny Granger
With the emergence of Paul George, the Indiana Pacers have been itching to get rid of Danny Granger, their former franchise player. When healthy, Granger can light it up from the perimeter, but unfortunately he hasn’t been healthy recently. He is set to return soon, so if the Clippers are willing to take a gamble they could roll the dice on Granger.
Probability: Granger leaving the Pacers is inevitable, but it's unlikely that Los Angeles will be his destination.
J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes, Reggie Bullock and Byron Mullens for Iman Shumpert and Andrea Bargnani
The New York Knicks are reportedly shopping Iman Shumpert, and the Clippers would be foolish not to explore a trade. Shumpert is a promising young shooting guard known for his gritty defense. He would be a great fit in Rivers’ system. In virtually every trade scenario with the Knicks, the Clippers would also have to take on Andrea Bargnani. He is pricy, but he would provide the Clippers with depth at the power forward and center position. He can stretch the floor and give the Clippers another scorer off the bench.
Probability: Shumpert could be dealt before the deadline, but chances are slim he lands with the Clippers.
Jamal Crawford, Jared Dudley, Reggie Bullock and Willie Green for Luol Deng
The Chicago Bulls could potentially lose Luol Deng this summer and get nothing in return. If they decide to trade him before the deadline they could add a few extra pieces as they prepare for their championship run. If this trade were to happen, Jimmy Butler could slide over to his natural position at small forward while Crawford could be inserted into the starting lineup, adding another perimeter playmaker to take some of the pressure off Derrick Rose. Dudley is the kind of tough defensive player Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau loves and Bullock is an impressive young prospect.
Meanwhile, the Clippers would have the most complete starting lineup in the league. Deng is the athletic perimeter defender the Clippers desperately need. The Clippers would be chomping at the bit to swing this deal.
Probablity: To quote a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Angels in the Outfield: "Hey, it could happen."