The Clippers still have a better roster than the Lakers, but after a historic collapse to a scrappy Denver team, it’s time to overreact! With Doc Rivers out, the first step is adding a new coach. My top 3 choices would be Ty Lue, Mike D’Antoni, or Adrian Griffin. In the meantime here are 3 hypothetical moves to shake up the Clip’s roster and guarantee them a championship next season.
Trade: The Clippers Trade Paul George and Rodney McGruder to the Pelicans for Jrue Holiday, JJ Reddick, and Josh Hart
The Clippers mortgaged their future for Paul George, because not only is he a great player, he’s the player Kawhi wanted to play with. PG’s playoff struggles continued this season, and their Championship window is closing quickly. This trade adds defense, shooting, and wing depth, something the Clippers desperately need. The Pels would be adding the best player in the trade to a young and exciting core. George can opt-out after next year, so the Pels could also free up some cap room and add a young star if PG decides to test free agency.
Trade: The Clippers trade Paul George, Lou Williams, and Ivica Zubac to the 76ers for Joel Embiid and Josh Richardson
This would be a blockbuster move for both teams. I’m in the camp that Simmons and Embiid hold each other back, and the addition of Paul George on the wing with Simmons running the point would be fun to watch. The Sixers also get Lou Will to add some bench depth and a nice young center to replace some of Embiid’s minutes. The Clippers add Embiid, who when locked in, can be the best defensive center in the league and an unstoppable force on offense. Josh Richardson is a 3 and D guy who fits well on any team, even though he is slightly overpaid based on his production.
Trade 3: The Clippers trade Paul George, Ivica Zubac, and Rodney McGruder for Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner
Oladipo has already requested a trade, and Myles Turner still has a high ceiling but doesn’t fit with Domantas Sabonis. Why not send PG back to Indiana where it all began? Turner gives the Clippers a legit defensive presence down low, to battle the likes of Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic. A healthy Oladipo can give you 90% of what Paul George does and gives the Clips another ball handler. Indiana gets George, still in his prime and a good young center in Zubac.
Fans love playing GM, it’s the reason I wrote this article and spent an hour on the trade machine. However, the Clippers will probably not trade Paul George. They were the Championship favorite with a deep and talented roster and can bring back pretty much the same team. If they decide to keep the team intact, I do think they need to add another ball handler. The combination of Lou will and Patrick Beverley isn’t enough. With a new coach and full season, the Clippers will once again have lofty expectations.
It’s time for them to change the narrative and show they are not just the Lakers little brother.