There’s no other way to look at it, the Los Angeles Lakers endured a horrific year this past season, something that made LA Clippers fans smile from ear to ear.
Initially, the addition of Russell Westbrook and a plethora of shooters in conjunction with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and a championship culture, was thought to be enough to take the Lakers to the next level. However, it became painfully clear from the very beginning that the front office pushed all the wrong buttons and constructed one of the worst rosters in the league.
As the purple and gold attempt to clean things up, they have a number of upcoming free agents. Some are inconsequential to their future success and others could play a vital role in what they hope will be another title-winning season. But as free agency slowly approaches, the LA Clippers shouldn’t give their down-the-hall rivals any chance to decide who they want to discard and who they want to bring back for next season.
The Lakers’ upcoming free agents aren’t the most attractive names on the market but several have undeniable value for a Clippers team with their own championship aspirations. Most of all, pilfering a few Laker players is something that will surely get under the skin of our longtime rival. With that in mind, who from the Lakers roster should the Clippers have an eye on?
3. Dwight Howard
2021-22 season stats: 6.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 53.3 fg%
By and large, the LA Clippers have put together a well-rounded roster. The headliners, of course, are Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Provided both return from their injuries in perfect health with their games intact, the Clippers will have almost unmatched star power. Also, thanks to the additions of Norman Powell and Robert Covington, the Clippers bench produced the second most points in the entire association, second only to the Miami Heat.
As we continue our inspection of LA’s overall roster, we notice one glaring hole that was exploited all season long, their lack of tenacious rebounders. On the year, the Clippers finished just 19th overall in rebounds per game, snagging just 44 a night. LA’s rebounding deficiencies are accentuated once we gaze upon their porous offensive rebounding numbers.
After finishing the year with just 9.1 offensive rebounds a night, good for 26th, the Clippers could use a player with size and physicality. Enter Dwight Howard. The likely future Hall of Fame center averaged 19.7% in total rebounding percentage. He also averaged 13.2 rebounds a night per 36 minutes last season.
Currently, Ivica Zubac is the only 7-footer with size on the Clippers roster. While small ball has proven to be both effective and productive in today’s NBA, Howard could provide the Clippers with a bit more girth down low.