Who Is Home Team When The La Clippers Play The La Lakers – Clippers’ Top 3 Free Agent Targets After 2023 NBA Draft.
The Los Angeles Clippers know time is running out on their Kawhi Leonard-Paul George core. Leonard and George have been plagued by injuries over the past few seasons and aren’t getting any younger, making it critical for Clippers management to find a championship-worthy solution as soon as possible.
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The Clippers’ decision on the night of the 2023 NBA Draft certainly indicates their goal is to acquire quality contributors as quickly and cheaply as possible. They ended up drafting the two oldest players in the draft class, meaning they prioritized NBA readiness over rookie potential.
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It could also mean the Clippers could make a trade; Eric Gordon’s contract through the 2023-24 season becomes fully guaranteed on June 28, so perhaps taking a pay cut with another team based on a deal is possible. Marcus More’s towering presence on the trade block is no secret either, as he was nearly traded to the Washington Wizards in a deal that would have brought back Malcolm Brogdon.
The Clippers should be active on the trade front as they have the benefit of a mid-sized contract. However, their salary cap is also locked for this reason, which will likely prevent them from getting key players in free agency.
Despite the limited options, here are three free agents the Clippers should pursue when NBA free agency begins in July.
Oh yes, the puzzle is Russell Westbrook. Of course, he is no longer the player he was in his prime. In fact, not even close. For all the criticism Westbrook has received, especially over the past two seasons, he’s still a quality contributor in the right environment — and it’s important for the 2017 NBA MVP to continue playing at a high level. to play than on his team. Cutting machines.
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Westbrook has been rejuvenated since signing with the Clippers, playing more of his old self as the staff around him can bring him out better. The Clippers can surround Westbrook with a ton of shooters and a big man in Ivica Zuback or Mason Plumlee, allowing him to do what he does best: attack the rim and pass the puck to a teammate who’s open because of it . Protection. the pressure it exerts on the ring.
Russell Westbrook is also a hard-working sponge — even more so for the Clippers since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George often miss games. As Westbrook proved in the 2023 NBA playoffs, he still has plenty of energy despite his excruciating low point.
Westbrook still endeared himself to Clippers fans for his resilience — showing up when his two star teammates were unavailable. That alone would be valuable to the Clippers. Unfortunately, they will have a hard time keeping Westbrook. Because he was only signed off the buyout market, the Clippers do not own the rights to his birds, limiting the contract value they can offer him.
Still, since Westbrook settled in at home in Los Angeles, he will likely give the Clippers a discount in free agency. Both sides should be better at it.
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The Clippers had glaring holes in their backup center corps for much of the 2022-23 season. That’s because they decided to pursue John Wall instead of keeping Isaiah Hartenstein. The Clippers struggled on the boards every time Ivica Zubac needed a break, so they even had to rely on Moses Brown, the NBA’s perimeter center, to soak up those minutes to keep them from losing points in the paint.
The Clippers need to fill the holes on their roster. Enter Mason Plumlee. Plumlee has proven his worth for the Clippers, giving them another solid spot in the paint, not to mention someone who can shoot as well. Yes, sometimes Plumlee tries to do too much. He likes to bring the ball down the court, but it sometimes leads to ugly turnovers. But when Zubak found himself in dire straits, Plumlee became valuable insurance.
The upside for the Clippers is that they own Bird’s rights to Mason Plumlee after they acquired him via trade. So keeping him in L.A. would only be at the expense of the organization’s readiness – and they never spared any expense under Steve Ballmer.
Clippers fans are clamoring for their team to bring in faster, younger and generally more athletic players. Derrick Jones Jr. certainly fits the bill. After all, Jones is a former NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion.
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Jones might not be the combination the Clippers are looking for. The Clippers like to sign players who can shoot from the post, and Jones is a career 30.4 percent shooter from beyond the arc.
But Derrick Jones Jr. gives the Clippers another high ball threat and can fly around the perimeter on defense. At the very least, he should bring another dimension to the Clippers on both ends of the court instead of bringing in a player in the mold of Robert Covington or Nicolas Batum. LOS ANGELES – Almost a year ago, the Clippers signed LeBron James on the same day the Lakers debuted LeBron James, Patrick Beverley told a dozen reporters, “We’re the best team in Los Angeles.”
That anger went unnoticed and unheard, partly because of the hype surrounding the Lakers and partly because few bought into it. Of course, Beverley ultimately proved wise as the Clippers rolled to 48 wins and two first-round wins over the Warriors while LeBron and the Lakers nearly kicked him in the groin.
As focus grows on the championship favorites adding Paul George and Kawhi Leonard while retaining most of the supporting cast, Beverley has a chance to double down on his prediction on Sunday. He raised his voice.
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But his mischievous grin is evident, reflecting the sadness and inner expectations of a team not known for shooting through the roof. This is the new world order in Los Angeles, and even in 2019-20. It’s an unprecedented moment for the Clippers, who have had winning teams before, but none entered the new season with so many titles.
“We know what we can do,” Beverly and others said. Even if you’ve never won a championship in franchise history, you can’t compare the reigning Finals MVP to another guy who finished third in the regular season Kia MVP voting without shaking the system. add
But that’s a long time to wait between now and next spring’s playoffs, and even less time to see George play.
The 29-year-old swingman is still recovering after undergoing offseason surgery on both shoulders. He said he’s “not sure” when he’ll be ready to play, though the opener against the Lakers is still a little more than three weeks away. George said he has not experienced any complications or setbacks but will not do any contact work in training camp, and coach Doc Rivers said George will not appear in any games until he is released.
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Another health concern is Leonard’s use. Still plagued by the lingering quadriceps injury that led to his tumultuous exit from the Spurs last year in Toronto, Leonard has not played back-to-back nights in back-to-back games. Rivers said there are no such restrictions and no player requirements this season, though the coach wants to retain the right to monitor and adjust his approach if necessary.
“Last year I was dealing with injuries from the year before that were still lingering and we knew I had to stay healthy, stay healthy all season and make the playoffs,” Leonard said. I feel good for once. I feel Much better than I did at the beginning of last season. There really aren’t any plans to discuss with everyone.”
Rivers also noted that the Clippers’ depth will give George and Leonard time to rest. Both players join a team that thrived without an All-Star last season and is expected to add Lou Williams and Montrezl Harley Hay to the bench.
In time, the Clippers will be done, and this is the most important step since their first official meeting. Enthusiasm is “extremely high,” Williams said.
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Rivers is flexible with Leonard and George and is widely regarded as one of the best two-way players in basketball. exists