The New Guys
A quick glance and this will appear to be one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history, based on the number of players exchanged. In return for one superstar point guard, the Clippers acquired an entirely new bench and a potential starter in Beverley, who, by the way, does way more than his statistics will show. Beverley, alongside Paul, was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team last season, and he also won the Hustle Award. Bev is an extremely hard worker who will give his all every night, no matter the opponent. He’ll play the Brooklyn Nets as if they’re the defending champions, and then do the same the following night. And again the night after that.
Sam Dekker is young and explosive. He’s also a small forward, which is exactly what the Clippers needed. Lou-Will is a younger, cheaper, arguably better version of Jamal Crawford. Montrezl Harrell is the human embodiment of the word “effort” and an absolute monster. DeAndre Liggins is a two-time D-League Defensive Player of the Year, and he also put some serious clamps on Steph Curry last Christmas. Kyle Wiltjer will likely remain in the G-League, but he’s a big with a seriously good jumper. He could be dangerous under the right coaching. And as for that 1st rounder, well, we’ll hit on that soon.
But above all else, each one of these guys brings one common trait: youth.
The Clippers were one of the oldest teams in the NBA last season, based on average age. The oldest guy acquired in the trade – Williams – is 30. Every one of these new guys has yet to reach their peak. And that’s a really good thing, too. Because the alternative to this trade was re-signing CP3, who would’ve been 38 by the time his proposed max contract would’ve run its course.
Because of the way the LA Clippers managed this whole situation, LA could clear roughly $80 million in cap space for the following offseason. Basically, we can enter the season after next with most of our current roster, plus $80 million worth of supertstar. And if that doesn’t sound enticing, then I don’t know what will. There are some big names on the free agency board next year – including the all-important LeBron James.