Paul George is expected to be out for at least a few more weeks with a UCL tear in his right elbow. There is some speculation that this injury could keep him out for the rest of the season. Although it would be easy to say that the Clippers should just tank and give up on the NBA season, realistically they can’t because they don’t own their own first round picks until 2027.
The Clippers are currently the eighth seed with a 22-23 record, so they aren’t out of the playoff race yet. They are currently in one of the four play-in spots for the postseason. So instead of them giving up on the season, let’s find a few trades that help the Clippers upgrade their roster. With that being said, let’s look at a few trades that could help the Clippers improve their team, as well as help the Clippers find a short term replacement for Paul George.
Trade 1: Clippers/Knicks
Clippers Receive: Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Nerlens Noel
Knicks Receive: Serge Ibaka, Eric Bledsoe
In this trade the Knicks take a gamble on upgrading their Point Guard position from Walker to Bledsoe. They also get themselves out of Fournier’s contract earlier and turn Noel into Ibaka, who’s a better shooter than Noel at the Center position. For the Clippers they get much needed help on the wings with Fournier in place of Paul George. They get to also change their look at Center by giving Noel a run. Also Walker could be a better fit offensively for the Clippers than Bledsoe and can pick up some of the scoring they will no longer get from George and Kawhi Leonard for the time being.
Trade 2: Clippers/Grizzlies
Clippers Receive: Kyle Anderson, Jarrett Culver
Grizzlies Receive: Luke Kennard
With this move, the Clippers get two assets for the price of one. Kyle Anderson is a great short term fit at the Small Forward or Power Forward spots for the Clippers. Culver is also an extra body for the Clippers and a good young prospect for the Clippers to look at for the time being while they find a short term fit for Paul George. For the Grizzlies, they add a sharpshooter in Luke Kennard and condense their log jam at the wings for them. This trade could lead to more minutes for the likes of De’Anthony Melton, Ziaire Williams, and John Konchar as well as give more minutes to those already in the rotation, like Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks. Kennard also provides another floor spacer for Ja Morant to operate on offense as he shoots 44.1% from 3 this season so far.
Trade 3: Clippers/Warriors
Clippers Receive: Moses Moody
Warriors Receive: Isaiah Hartenstein, 2027 First Round Pick, 2025 Second Round Pick (via Detroit)
In this trade, the Warriors give up Moody for more future assets, getting a future first and second round pick plus a sharp- shooting big man in Hartenstein to space the floor for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Although the Clippers give up more future assets to get this deal done, they take a chance on a young prospect in Moody on the wings and are able to give him the opportunity to play real minutes for the Clippers, and develop. Plus Moody has a chance to be a real player for the Clippers in this trade, unlike on the Warriors, who are now deep on the wings with Thompson’s return to the lineup.
Trade 4: Clippers/Warriors
Clippers Receive: Raul Neto, Thomas Bryant, Rui Hachimura
Wizards Receive: Eric Bledsoe, Isaiah Hartenstein
With this deal, the Wizards add another quality veteran Point Guard in Bledsoe to play with Beal and the rest of their veterans and add more shooting on their team with Hartenstein. This move also clears more minutes for Kyle Kuzma, Deni Avdija, and Corey Kispet, with Hachimua gone . For the Clippers, they take a gamble on Hachimura and see if they can be a short term or long term solution for George and/or Leonard on the wings. The Clippers get to also look at two veterans in Thomas Bryant and Raul Neto to replace Bledsoe and Hartenstein.
Trade 5: Clippers/Jazz
Clippers Receive: Rudy Gay, Joe Ingles
Jazz Receive: Marcus Morris Sr., Justise Winslow
In this deal, the Clippers take on two wings to fill in for Paul George in Rudy Gay and Joe Ingles (former Clipper btw). They also get rid of Morris and the remaining three years of his salary. For the Jazz, they get to add Marcus Morris Sr, who is more of a natural Power Forward than anyone else on their current roster. Justise Winslow is only a part of the deal to make the salaries work, but he could get some minutes if he gets the opportunity to play for them. They could use his skill set for the wing spots with Gay and Ingles gone now.
With any of these moves, I could see the Clippers becoming a better, and deeper, team. What do YOU think the Clippers should do? Should they start over? Add pieces at the deadline? Stand pat and wait it out? Hit me up on Twitter and let me know your thoughts!