LA Clippers: Three significant talking points from the 2020 NBA Draft

LA Clippers, Lawrence Frank Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
LA Clippers, Lawrence Frank Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Clippers, Lawrence Frank
LA Clippers, Lawrence Frank Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Clippers front-office once again showed their urgency to win now at the 2020 NBA Draft.

LA Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank yet again had his hands full on Wednesday night, where he flipped a multitude of assets in the pursuit of improving a squad under immense pressure heading into the 2020/21 NBA season.

Trades saw Duke alum Luke Kennard and the 55th pick of Wednesday’s proceedings Jay Scrubb sent to Southern California, while the organization bid farewell to sharpshooter Landry Shamet and veteran guard Rodney McGruder to the Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons, respectively.

The Clippers’ activity throughout the night has revealed three critical focuses of Frank’s front office, unearthing plans for aggression in the forthcoming free agency while also prepping for a future without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

It’s ‘Championship-Or-Bust’ for the LA Clippers this season

Luke Kennard’s introduction to Los Angeles has signaled yet another move for a front-office mortgaging their future to hunt for silverware now.

Speculation of the Clippers trading up to the middle of the first round came to fruition on Wednesday when Landry Shamet was dealt to Brooklyn for the 19th overall pick in the draft. The asset was immediately shipped to Detroit, where McGruder was attached to entice Pistons GM Troy Weaver to separate with Kennard, their 2017 lottery selection.

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Kennard offers Tyronn Lue another sharpshooter to compliment the Clippers’ shooting guard depth. The 24-year-old travels to the West Coast after a career-best 2019/20 campaign, posting 15.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 32.9 minutes per outing. Most impressively perhaps, Kennard completed 39.9 percent of opportunities from beyond the arc in his third year in Detroit and displayed an efficient offensive arsenal at all three levels on the court.

Continuing his on-court productivity will be crucial for Kennard, who will be presented with less offensive freedom on a Clippers’ side much stronger than that of Detroit. The trade also gives some insurance to the front-office, who risk losing Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson to free agency.

The transaction ultimately highlights the ‘win-now’ mentality held within the organization, as Kennard represents an upgrade at the shooting guard position. Provided that the knee issues of his past do not resurface, the Ohio native promises to have all the tools necessary to help elevate the Clippers to unprecedented heights this season.