After finalizing the trade for James Harden, the LA Clippers have completely re-shaped their roster. For better or for worse, this team will look much different than fans are used to seeing for the rest of the year.
Much has been made of Harden’s fit on the Clippers’ roster. As a player who made his living in the NBA as a ball-dominant scorer, many are wondering if he will be able to spread the ball around enough for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to still be themselves.
Harden has done his best to squash those doubts in his conversations with the media, but he will ultimately have to prove he is correct on the court. The best-case scenario is that his skills as a distributor maximize the talents of his teammates and help the Clippers take another leap.
Until we see proof of that reality on the hardwood, there will still be reasonable doubt as to whether James Harden can actually elevate a team to championship level. There is still an argument to be made that there were several trade targets out there that would have actually made more sense for the Clippers than Harden.
3 trade targets that would have been better fits than Harden:
1. Pascal Siakam
In his eighth year as a pro, Pascal Siakam brings a lot of skills to the floor that would have been useful to the Clippers. Playing primarily at the four, he would have been able to occupy the frontcourt along with Ivica Zubac while allowing Kawhi and PG to slide down a spot in the starting lineup.
In the last two full NBA seasons, Siakam led the league in minutes played per game. This would have been a big help for Head Coach Ty Lue, who would have been able to play him for extended minutes while some of the other star power on the team gets a rest on the bench.
Siakam would have brought a lot more versatility to the Clippers’ frontcourt, and the team would have been able to use him in a multitude of different lineups. With the Raptors reportedly listening to trade offers all summer, it is a shame LA did not make an attempt at acquiring Pascal Siakam.