Rumors are swirling that the LA Clippers may have trade interest in Charlotte, with point guard Terry Rozier being the alleged target.
Coming out of the draft and the first couple days of trade season, questions about if and how the LA Clippers will answer the ball-handling question have gone unanswered. It’s not totally clear how important of an issue this is to the front office, but some rumors are swirling now that they may be looking to make a deal.
In his free agent preview, Chris Mannix mentioned that a league source pointed to the Charlotte Hornets as a team the LA Clippers have explored trading with:
“Rajon Rondo is on L.A.’s radar, though Rondo could command a larger salary than the capped out Clippers can afford. L.A. has also explored a deal for Charlotte’s Terry Rozier, per league source.”
If his source is accurate, and the Clippers are going after Terry Rozier, what does that mean for the players currently on the roster?
Well, the first question is who would be involved in that deal? In the past, we’ve looked at Charlotte as a potential partner for the Clippers in the sign-and-trade market for Montrezl Harrell.
It makes sense as a destination for Trezz, potentially. If the Hornets are high on Harrell and want to move on from Rozier, then they can execute this sign-and-trade without caring about getting hard capped. After all, they don’t have serious playoff aspirations next season, so they won’t want to go into the cap anyway.
It also makes sense for Montrezl. He’s originally from North Carolina and would be going home. He could also hope to get some serious playing time in Charlotte, as the only bigs they have on the roster are Cody Zeller and PJ Washington. With all the cap space the Hornets have (about $39 Million, not counting Rozier, if they renounce all their holds), Trezz could hope to get more money there than the Clippers may be willing to spend.
But the ramifications of this rumor go beyond just Montrezl Harrell. If this trade went through, and if none of these guys were a part of it, the Clippers would then have Rozier, Lou Williams, Luke Kennard and Patrick Beverley as their guards, in addition to Terance Mann who will probably want more of a role and Reggie Jackson, if he comes back. Outside of Bev, that’s a lot of guys who want to take shots.
Could the Rozier rumors mean one or more of those guys is on the move? Could the Clippers try to make a move for more of a pass-first guard to play next to Rozier? It’s hard to say with a front office that’s so good at working in silence, but it feels like Rozier coming would mean somebody from that group is leaving.
There would also be interesting lineup questions. Assuming Beverley stays, there’s a question between him and Rozier for the starting guard. I would think Bev fits better with the lineup, as Rozier would be a scoring guard playing third banana, at best, in terms of scoring. Instead, he could play the Lou Williams role, coming off the bench and being the lead scorer on the reserves.
Lots of changes could happen if this rumor proves to be true. Follow along here on Clipperholics and on Twitter and Facebook as we keep you up to date on all things LA Clippers.