OTG's Trade Deadline Marathon: The Clippers Add a Veteran Forward
LAC receives: PF Thaddeus Young, SG Denzel Valentine
CHI receives: SF Maurice Harkless, SG Jerome Robinson, C Mfiondu Kabengele
It is no secret that the Clippers are interested in acquiring Marcus Morris from the New York Knicks, as are a ton of other teams. However, the word going around is that Morris is interested in signing an extension to stay in the Big Apple. Regardless, the Knicks will more than likely listen to calls, but Los Angeles may not be willing to give up what New York is asking in return.
Thaddeus Young is a quality consolation prize; his two-way ability fills the Clippers’ frontcourt needs and he adds a tough, veteran presence to a championship-caliber team. Currently, the 31-year-old Georgia Tech product is averaging the least amount of minutes per game (22.4) since his rookie season, but that’s more of a testament to the Bulls’ organizational direction than it is Young. The Clippers also add a former lottery-pick that is shooting 39% from deep this season; Valentine has found himself in basketball purgatory in the Windy City due to the same organizational direction that is hindering Young. A change of scenery could do wonders for Valentine. LA opts to use young pieces to bolster the roster, with sights on winning a ring sooner rather than later.
Chicago has shown that Young and Valentine are not in the organization’s plans going forward, so why keep them around? They acquire a serviceable three-and-D wing on an expiring contract that will continue the supply of veteran leadership to the young Bulls core. LA also throws in two unproven prospects that don’t see much time on the court for the Clippers. Being just a rookie, Kabengele’s motor and upside make him a promising young talent, while more playing time for Robinson could kick-start his NBA development. The Bulls rid themselves of long-term money, while keeping veteran leadership and acquiring a pair of promising prospects under contract for multiple years.