The LA Clippers have a strategy for the postseason. They used it in 2021 to drive all the way to the Western Conference Finals, essentially obliterating the Utah Jazz as a contender. Having stocked up on wings, the Clippers have leaned into playing positionless lineups with five shooters when the games have mattered most.
Something the Clippers have struggled with since is balancing the effectiveness of that approach with the wear and tear it puts on a team stocked with veterans. The Clippers entered this season with just one center on the primary roster, Ivica Zubac, and they have felt some of the strain of trying to get through 82 games.
The LA Clippers thrive on small-ball, but they need another center to get through the regular season.
Marcus Morris is 33 years old. Nicolas Batum is 34. Robert Covington is 32. Their options to man the 5 behind Zubac (a spry 25) are limited, and the Clippers surely want to preserve them for the playoffs. Moses Brown is on a two-way contract and quickly approaching his limit of service days, not to mention the fact that he is a below-average option.
That’s why it’s unsurprising that the Clippers are rumored to be in the market for a number of backup centers. Shoring up the position behind Zubac makes sense, especially if they can find an option to space the court without sacrificing bulk inside. The Clippers don’t have any stretch 5s, just big wings they stick at the 5.
One such center the Clippers have been linked to plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Why would the Clippers be interested?