Shams: LA Clippers Expected to Trade for a Playmaking Guard

Garrett Chorpenning

The LA Clippers were embarrassed in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, losing in seven games to the Denver Nuggets after taking a 3-1 lead in Game 4. Plenty of weaknesses were made apparent throughout the series, and according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the franchise won't be shy about addressing them.

One such area for improvement, according to Charania, is in the backcourt. Rival teams expect the Clippers to trade for a playmaking guard to take some of the load off of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. 

Charania doesn't note whether this player would be a starter or reserve, but it would make the most sense for LA to bolster the starting lineup. 

So who could be on the table? And who could LA be eyeing?

The Clippers don't have much trade capital in terms of future draft selections, but there are several guards on the roster with very tradable contracts. Patrick Beverley will make roughly $28 million over the next two seasons. Lou Williams is entering the final year of his deal, worth $8 million. Landry Shamet has shown plenty of potential and has a team-friendly contract. 

Now, decimating the depth isn't the answer either, so it's unlikely that LA would move all three of Beverley, Williams and Shamet — at least, not in a single deal. 

If the Clippers really want to swing for the fences, there are top-tier point guards out there. Jrue Holiday is one of the best two-way playmakers in the league, and the New Orleans Pelicans could be motivated to move him. That said, finding a way to match his salary could prove to be too difficult to manage.

If LA is keen on keeping Beverley, though, a more offensive-minded guard could be acquired if the Clippers are willing to part with Williams and/or Shamet. Jalen Brunson could fill that role off the bench for a low cost. The Brooklyn Nets could move Spencer Dinwiddie with a healthy Kyrie Irving coming back next season.

LA may have to get crafty or part ways with some fan favorites to make such a move happen, but as the franchise enters what could be its final season with both Leonard and George on the roster, it can't afford to be passive this offseason.

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