Rival teams suspect Clippers will try to make deal for playmaker

Sam Amico

Opposing executives expect the Los Angeles Clippers to try to trade for a playmaking guard following the disappointment in the Western Conference playoffs, as relayed by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

This was something Andrew Grief of the Los Angeles Times relayed first by speaking with an opposing executive.

“Running it back is great, but the Clippers are beatable,” Greif quoted the exec as saying. “They need a point guard. They’ve got to get one. They need better chemistry. They’ve got to do a better job scheming and adjusting.”

The Clippers were bounced by the Denver Nuggets in the second round despite racing to a 3-1 series lead.

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers have indicated the team has to stick together for another run and try again next season. Both Leonard and George are eligible to become free agents in 2021.

“We can only get better the longer we stay together and the more we’re around each other,” George told reporters. “I think that’s really the tale of the tape of this season. We just didn’t have enough time together.”

Current Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul is said to be available, and earlier reports suggested the same may be true of Philadelphia 76ers guard/forward Ben Simmons, though Sixers GM Elton Brand recently shot down such talk.

Of course, the Clippers may not need nor look to acquire a star. A starter to set up the offense and keep the ball moving may do the trick. They undoubtedly have the pieces to make a trade for someone who fits that description.

Whatever happens this offseason, it seems highly likely the Clippers will do something, even something small, to avoid a repeat in 2020-21.