LA Clippers Trade Deadline Recap
The Clippers sent Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and James Scott to the 76ers for a 2020 protected first round pick, 2021 unprotected first round pick, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet and two second round picks, as well as sending Avery Bradley to Memphis for Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green. The Clippers clearly had one thing on their mind when making these trades, cap space. With rumors swirling that the Clippers will be in on the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes in the offseason, L.A. made sure they have room to sign not one, but two players to max deals this summer. After Thursday, the Clippers only have $49M committed towards the 2019-2020 season, with $22M of that going to Danilo Gallinari, someone the Clippers will try to move before July 1st.
Other than the cap space created, the Clippers also acquired four draft picks from Philadelphia, two firsts and two seconds. Although Tobias Harris played close to an All-Star level in the first half of the season, he was shipped as an expiring deal and no commitment to re-sign with Philadelphia (GM Elton Brand stated he plans to bring back both Harris and Jimmy Butler). As good as Harris is, for an expiring deal, the Clippers got incredible value. Even late first round picks prove to be more valuable in recent years, and it seems both the first rounders the Clippers received will be in the 20s, though nothing is certain.
It’s worth noting that the biggest pieces shipped from L.A. were acquired just a year ago in a blockbuster that sent Blake Griffin to Detroit. After this years deadline, the Clippers essentially traded Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and James Scott for three first round picks, three second round picks, five players and cap space. Chandler, Muscala, Temple and Green all come into L.A. as expiring contacts. Chandler this season is averaging a career low in points and his second lowest in minutes played, Muscala, on the other hand, comes into L.A. having played the most minutes per game in his career, yet shooting only 39% from the field. JaMychal Green is having a decent season, averaging 9.8 points per game on 48% shooting, and Temple has nearly identical stats at 9.5 points per game on 43% shooting. Although they will all finish the year with the Clippers, none of them are likely returning to the team next season, unless it is to fill a roster spot.
Overall, the Clippers had an excellent trade deadline, acquiring both picks and creating room for multiple free agents to team up in L.A., while only trading an expiring contract and Avery Bradley.