Analyst pitches absurd trade where Clippers land a former lottery pick

Los Angeles Clippers v Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Clippers v Utah Jazz / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

It's fake trade season for teams not competing for a championship, and the Clippers are no exception.

After another disastrous close to an underwhelming campaign, fans and analysts alike are pitching their ways to improve this aging roster. That's a near-impossible task without knowing the statuses of Paul George and James Harden, who will both likely hit the open market this summer. Even though retaining the nucleus is a viable option, a dramatic change somewhere is needed. 

Lawrence Frank likely will have plenty of room around the fringes to operate. P.J. Tucker and Russell Westbrook are names that'll be the sources of plenty of trade talks, but only Kawhi Leonard seems guaranteed to suit up for the club next season.

But what do the Clippers need? There are a few gaping holes around this team, but the lack of postseason success could lead to moves that seem desperate. Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes thinks that one of the franchise's most talented players, Norman Powell, could be expendable as a cost-cutting measure while netting a floor-spacing big in return.

"The Clippers trim $6.4 million from next year's payroll by exchanging Powell for Olynyk, while also adding a floor-spacer and facilitator to a depleted big-man rotation," Hughes said. "hough Powell's scoring and recent award-worthy season may suggest L.A. is losing out in the overall talent department with this deal, Olynyk has been the more productive player in recent seasons. He's had positive EPMs in three of the last four years, while Powell only graded out above replacement level once (2021-22) in that span."

The Clippers trading for Kelly Olynyk would be a disaster

After a decade in the sport, Kelly Olynyk is still garnering praise as a coveted role player. The 6'11 Canadian offers skillful offensive versatility that can put opponents in an uncomfortable position. He has a streaky stroke from a distance, but he converts at enough of a clip to be considered a threat. Even with a slighter frame, he still has a serviceable low post-game and is crafty around the cup. 

Olynyk's issues have prominently been on the defensive end. He's not a complete liability on that end, but he struggles mightily with switches on the perimeter and is frequently outmatched physically in the paint. He works best by leaking off corner shooters and offering help near the basket. His feel for the game is excellent, and he will always avoid disaster plays. Does that make him better than Norman Powell? Emphatically, no.

Powell can create his shot at an efficient clip and is a flamethrower from beyond the arc. His total scoring went down because of fewer opportunities. He does a great job hounding opposing ball handlers and holds up far better on that end. The conversation isn't even remotely close if you ignore a cherry-picked advanced stat that favors big men—Powell clears comfortably.

Olynyk would be a fine addition at a much more reasonable asking price. Powell is far too valuable for such a mediocre return.