Which LA Clippers Players Could Become Free Agents this Offseason?
The LA Clippers' season has officially come to an end, which means it's now time to start looking toward the offseason and figuring out how this team can improve upon its result in the playoffs.
There are several players on the roster that will become free agents once that period begins later this year, and several played a significant role on this year's squad. Unfortunately, LA won't be able to keep all of them.
That said, there will be a healthy number of players on the market that the Clippers should have interest in. There are some solid guards and bigs that could be used in a reserve role, for example, which are two areas that LA may need to address.
But before we get into the offseason plan, let's review who could be testing the market.
The LA Clippers struck a mid-season deal with the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards to acquire Marcus Morris, a two-way wing who established himself as the team's third fiddle in the playoffs.
He appeared in all 13 of LA's playoff games, averaging 11.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 51% from the field and 48% from three-point range.
He signed a one-year deal worth $15 million last summer, and there's a chance that a rival contender could shell out that kind of money for him based on his postseason performance. Morris' versatility on both ends of the floor will make him a coveted player as well.
The Clippers had to give up a first-round pick, Moe Harkless and Jerome Robinson to bring him to Los Angeles, so it would be surprising if they let him walk this offseason.
Montrezl Harrell's future with the team is uncertain. The 2019-2020 Sixth Man of the Year enjoyed the best season of his career with LA this year, but his performance in the playoffs left a lot to be desired.
His physical limitations and weaknesses on the defensive end were extremely noticeable in LA's series with the Denver Nuggets, as Nikola Jokic made light work of him in the paint. He struggled on offense as well, failing to get almost anything going outside of the pick-and-roll.
There may also be some chemistry concerns to be worried about, as Harrell reportedly got into it with Paul George in Game 2 against Denver. That, along with questionable comments Harrell made about the team in January, could jeopardize his future in Los Angeles.
Ultimately, Harrell's price tag may end up being more than the Clippers are willing to pay — even after he played himself out of some money in the playoffs.
JaMychal Green is a special case here, as he's the only player on the list with a player option for the upcoming season. He could opt-in and earn a little over $5 million with the Clippers next year, or he could opt-out and see what kind of money he could earn from another team.
He's been one of LA's most reliable role players over the last two seasons, combining to average 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in roughly 20 minutes per game. Green is also a career 37% shooter from beyond the arc, which makes him one of the more versatile players available at his position.
The Clippers will be hoping Green opts-in to the second year of his deal. He was one of the few players on the roster that consistently played with energy and urgency during LA's brief playoff run, and he's one of the best rebounders this team has.
If Green signs elsewhere, the Clippers would be hard-pressed to find another player at his position who can match his production and three-point shooting off the bench.
Patrick Patterson was almost an offseason afterthought in 2019, as the team added him over a month after free agency began. Surprisingly, though, he ended up carving out a solid role in LA — especially before Marcus Morris joined the roster.
Patterson appeared in 59 of LA's 72 regular-season contests and 44 of the first 49, posting averages of 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds while connecting at a 39% clip from three-point range. What was most surprising about his performance was how he always seemed to defend the league's best forwards — namely Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo — particularly well.
He was signed to a minimum contract last summer, so it certainly wouldn't cost much to bring him back. He's also close with Paul George, so it might be in LA's best interest to keep him on the roster.
Patterson doesn't move the needle for a team contending for a title, but he fills a role for the Clippers and does what he needs to do. Expect him to return on another minimum deal.
Another mid-season addition, Reggie Jackson was everybody's favorite scapegoat during the Clippers' playoff run.
He was fine as a catch-and-shoot guy, knocking down 53% of his three-point attempts, but tended to fail when he tried to do just about anything else. He struggled as a facilitator, was one of LA's worst defenders, and committed more than a few careless turnovers.
Eventually, Jackson was cut out of the rotation almost entirely, playing spot minutes in the latter half of LA's second-round series with Denver after playing close to 23 minutes per game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Jackson's role on the team — a backup point guard that can step into the starting role when need be — will be one of LA's focuses in the offseason. Even if it's on a minimum deal, it would be shocking if Jackson returned for another season.