LA Clippers: Evaluating players with 2020 expiring contracts

LA Clippers (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
LA Clippers (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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The LA Clippers currently have five players on their roster whose contracts are set to expire at the end of the 2020 season. We take a look at who absolutely must return, and who they can afford to let walk.

The LA Clippers were enjoying a stellar 2019-20 NBA season when things came to a halt on March 12 due to worldwide concerns over the coronavirus. The team sat in second place in the Western Conference with a record of 44-20 and looked to be one of the favorites to win this year’s NBA title.

If and when play resumes this season the Clippers will still stand in strong title contention. Perhaps even more so with the additional rest their players have received during the stoppage. If play doesn’t resume, the Clippers, and the rest of the NBA will be forced to look forward to the 2020-21 season facing an offseason that came a little faster than anyone expected.

The Clippers currently have ten players on their active roster under contract for next year. They are: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Ivica Zubac, Rodney McGruder, Landry ShametMfiondu KabengeleTerance Mann, and JaMychal Green (who has a player option for next season.)

That leaves five Clippers with expiring contracts for which the team will have to decide whether or not to keep them in Los Angeles, or let them walk out the door.

When a team has one of the best, deepest rosters in the NBA, and an owner with some of the deepest pockets, it’s easy as a fan to just say “run it back” and throw all salary cap penalty tax consequences to the wind. But we wanted to take a closer look at which Clippers the team must absolutely keep at any cost, and to whom they may be able to afford to say “goodbye and good luck.”

The ten players under contract for next season represent $113.85 million in salary cap. In January of this year, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the salary cap for next season was projected to be $115 million (with a luxury tax threshold of $139 million). SNY’s Ian Begley reported that on a call with agents on Tuesday, the NBPA said that even though the NBA will lose revenue due to the stoppage in play, they do not expect a drastic reduction in the expected salary cap for next season.

With that in mind, we take a look at how the Clippers should approach free agency this coming offseason, whenever that may be.