3 Clippers players who improved their trade value the most

Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Terance Mann, LA Clippers
Terance Mann, LA Clippers – Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Terance Mann

Terance Mann’s trade value has never been higher for the LA Clippers, even as he suffered across-the-board decreases in minutes, points, rebounds, and assists.

Why? Mann retained his per-minute averages while drastically improving his efficiency. His per-36 averages of 14 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists don’t jump off the page, but he shot a career-high 52% from the floor and 39% from deep this year. Any decline in gross production was related to opportunity, not effort, and GMs will take note.

Mann is a knockdown shooter and an aggressive driver — nearly half of his shots came at the rim. He converted an excellent 72% of those rack attacks, finishing like a seven-footer instead of the 6’5″ he actually stands. He’s even developed as a passer to the point the Clippers toyed with the idea of ‘Point Mann’ throughout the season.

At its best, Mann’s defense is tremendous – he’s a tentacle-armed menace who can guard 1-4 in a pinch (Mann has had experience playing some power forward in Clippers small-ball lineups). The Clippers were an outrageous 31.6 points per 100 possessions better with Mann on the floor in their playoff series against the Suns, continuing his strong postseason play from two years ago.

His versatility should be a strength, but it has hurt him in some ways with LA. Coach Ty Lue has never figured out the Mann Rubik’s Cube. Every game felt like a random spin hoping to brute-force his way to success: in a given game, Mann might start at power forward, fill in as a wing in the absence of Paul George or Leonard, bolster the second unit as a power forward, and end the game on the bench.

Despite all of Mann’s strengths, Russell Westbrook’s arrival will seemingly cap Mann’s path to more playing time. But with a contract similar to Zubac’s, Mann’s 3-and-D-and-a-little-more skillset would be highly desirable. Finding a contending team where Mann wouldn’t fit in is hard.

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On paper, Mann should be a player the Clippers prioritize. He’s entering his prime and could be the perfect complement to Leonard and George if the Clippers run it back. But LA has moved in unconventional ways in the past, and they’ll be gauging Mann’s market value this offseason.