Aging star regarded as 'dream' Clippers offseason target

The Los Angeles Clippers can't shake their narrative of being a haven for aging stars.
Los Angeles Clippers v Chicago Bulls
Los Angeles Clippers v Chicago Bulls / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Clippers need a philosophy change.

In January, the club locked down Kawhi Leonard's services through 2027. This move signaled that the team was more focused on establishing the face of the franchise than chasing on-court success. But if the centerpieces of all the marquees are almost guaranteed to miss critical parts of a season and fail to challenge for a title, how much value do they really bring? 

Building a competitive roster around Leonard will be a difficult task for Lawrence Frank, who seemed reluctant to make drastic changes to personnel during his exit interview. With the uncertainty swirling around re-signing James Harden and Paul George this summer, there's a chance prominent roles on this squad open up. Due to the lack of talent on the roster, the only way to fill such a void would be through free agency. Bleacher Report's Andrew Bailey thinks the perfect guy for that role could be aging star DeMar DeRozan. 

"With his mid-range-heavy game, DeRozan may not make as much sense in terms of basketball logistics," Bailey said. "But in terms of a pure talent play, he'd probably raise L.A.'s ceiling a bit more. And the Clippers are a team with enough talent to potentially sell DeRozan on coming off the bench. Being a high-end sixth man could maximize the potential of the back end of DeRozan's career."

DeMar DeRozan being the Clippers Sixth Man is ludicrous

Few NBA premises make me chuckle, because anything can happen—just look at the last few weeks. Kyrie Irving hit one of the biggest shots in the sport's history in 2016, had nearly a decade of playoff blunders, and has returned to prominence in 2024. Damantas Sabonis got a Defensive Player of the Year vote despite being an obvious liability on that side of the court. Karl-Anthony Towns, routinely mocked for his comedic collapses, outplayed the reigning MVP during the final minutes of a game seven. 

The idea that DeMar DeRozan would willingly come off the bench for a team squarely outside of contention isn't improbable, it's lunacy. At 34, DeRozan, like George, is searching for one final payday. By all accounts, the Chicago Bulls are willing to overspend on their aging star to be a threat next to the emerging Coby White. 

DeRozan is from Compton and has been a target of the LA teams since he broke out onto the scene with the Toronto Raptors. Now, in the twilight of his career, it doesn't make sense beyond the fact that he is closer to his roots. 

The Clippers must worry about their future and acquire blue-chip prospects to inject life into the organization. Pursuing aging has-beens is a mark of the Donald Sterling era and should be left in the past. DeRozan's inability to space the floor and disastrous defense don't fit Ty Lue's scheme. 

DeRozan wouldn't be a dream acquisition—it'd be a nightmare.