The LA Clippers have a well-built championship-contending roster. From top to bottom, each player contributes in their way. The LA Clippers may be entering their most crucial season ever, in which, there is absolutely no time to waste. Franchise stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will be entering their fourth year together and players like Nicolas Batum and Reggie Jackson are entering the later stages of their careers.
The LA Clippers are loaded with wings. Some may even say the Clippers are above average at the point guard position. One position the LA Clippers have never been genuinely stacked at is the center position. In recent years, the LA Clippers have had guys like Deandre Jordan, Montrezl Harrell, DeMarcus Cousins, Marcin Gortat, and even Joakim Noah.
As Isaiah Hartenstein enters this off-season as an unrestricted free agent, he will likely receive interest from multiple teams. With Ivica Zubac entering the final year of his contract, it is also likely that he will demand a contract extension. In this off-season, the LA Clippers have some decisions to make. The Clippers must make sure they surround Leonard and George with the highest level of talent to fulfill their hopes of a championship run.
With that being said, a few questions remain unanswered. Should the LA Clippers re-sign Hartenstein? Will Zubac receive an extension? Could the Clippers look to find a new center for the future? Continue reading to find out some potential moves the Clippers could make to build the best roster possible!
Re-sign Isaiah Hartenstein
The first and arguably the best option would be to run it back. Resigning Hartenstein and giving Zubac the extension he has earned would maintain the chemistry. It is clear what Zubac brings to the table. High-quality centers that can play on both ends of the floor are seemingly hard to find. Zubac is also a perfect fit for guys like Leonard, George, and Jackson, especially through PNR.
Hartenstein’s value came as a surprise to many. After showing flashes in the pre-season, Hartenstein won the role as a backup center. There were moments throughout the season when the Clippers needed a bit more from the center position and Zubac was not able to fill those needs. Hartenstein quickly came in and provided the missing spark.
Hartenstein finished the 2021-22 NBA season with career highs across the board. Averaging 8.3 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 62.6% from the field in only 17.9 minutes is not easy. Hartenstein could easily be a starting center on many teams throughout the NBA.
Entering the most crucial season as a franchise, it would not be smart to bring in new faces and take the risk of ruining chemistry which could create issues within the locker room. Both Zubac and Hartenstein are enough to get the job done. One of the biggest factors that are holding the Clippers back is health. This is not the issue with Zubac and Hartenstein as they both played a majority of the 2021-22 season.