LA Clippers Rumors: Team is exploring trade market

LA Clippers Doc Rivers (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LA Clippers Doc Rivers (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Per Marc Stein of The New York Times, the LA Clippers are actively exploring the trade market for, “Dependable size as well as potential wing depth.”

In a series of tweets today, The New York Times’ Marc Stein outlined the initial Clippers’ foray into the trade market.

For most Clippers fans, this isn’t breaking news, so much as it is confirmation of what has long been suspected. It’s been fairly obvious that wing depth and big men (that coach Doc Rivers will be willing to actually play) would be the Clippers’ main areas of concern as the trade deadline approaches.

The Clippers’ lack of wing depth has absolutely been felt in games without one or both of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Moe Harkless has been dependable defensively but has lacked the ability to provide much of anything on the offensive end. Rodney McGruder has been very disappointing, to say the least.

Suffice to say, this is currently a position of need. Andre Iguodala, of course, has been long-rumored to be a target of the Clippers, as well as the Lakers, and there’s been noted interest in Minnesota’s Robert Covington. Either would provide the Clips with a significant boost.

The Clippers’ center situation is a bit more complicated and very well-documented at this point. What they have now are what most would consider a solid pairing of big men. Ivica Zubac has blossomed into a very good defensive big. He’s proved his worth as a rim-deterrent and as a shot-blocker. Not to mention that he’s developed some impressive chemistry with Kawhi Leonard in the pick-and-roll.

The biggest thing he lacks, however, is Doc Rivers’ trust. Doc has routinely made the call to sit Zubac for large portions of games, even at the expense of Montrezl Harrell‘s exhaustion. As for Trezz, he can be awesome offensively. We know he’s capable of putting up big numbers on that end. His size will always be an issue, though. With him on the floor, the Clippers are especially susceptible to being eaten alive on the glass, and that can be absolutely crippling against the right team.

What the Clippers would likely be interested in as far as bigs go would be a veteran that Doc Rivers feels comfortable having on the floor at any point of a game. Since he apparently only feels that way about Montrezl at this point. With what’s available, the Clippers would essentially be adding another Ivica Zubac, but older. It doesn’t exactly make sense, but it is what it is. Stein even floated some of the bigger names that could potentially be on the trading block:

These aren’t any names that weren’t already floating around, but it is food for thought as the deadline approaches. They certainly all have something to offer, namely in the rebounding department. It all feels a little redundant when you realize their skillsets are mostly the same as that of Zubac. But, if it’s someone that Doc Rivers is willing to play, then that in itself may be an upgrade.

As astutely noted, though, there’s no guarantee that any move will actually be made. The Clippers, as of now, are still on pace for the most wins in the Doc Rivers era, so there likely isn’t a ton of urgency in the Clippers’ front office. The team hasn’t exactly coasted by in their matchups with the Lakers this season, but they’re still undefeated versus their across-the-hall rivals. With that said, if there’s a way to improve, they’ll jump on that opportunity.

Next. Vandalizing community courts isn't funny. dark

Regardless of who the Clippers do pick up prior to the trade deadline (if they do so at all), things certainly seem to be heating up! Keep your eyes peeled, as we may have news dropping any day now.