Sam Amick of the Athletic recently reported that the LA Clippers are unlikely to make any major moves before the trade deadline, according to his sources.
Amick also reported that, while LA has shown interest in Raptors Point Guard Kyle Lowry, his $33 million salary figure and the Clippers’ hard cap restrictions have dissuaded their front office from pursuing a deal.
While Lowry would’ve been an excellent fit, a move to get him would’ve completely depleted the Clippers’ depth. LA also does not have any first-round picks to offer Toronto, making their assets far less desirable than, say, the 76ers or Heat, who have also expressed interest in Lowry.
If the Clippers do make a deal, Amick says it will only be one that “could help them on the margins.” This could mean second-round picks or deep rotation players for role players who could crack their top-eight come playoff time. However, even these types of deals are difficult because the Clippers cannot exceed the salary cap for any reason due to the hard cap rule, which was triggered when LA used the non-taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Serge Ibaka.
LA seems content with their current identity, according to Amick. He says their chemistry is at an “all-time high” according to his sources, and that Head Coach Tyronn Lue deserves credit for this improvement over last season.
This is easy to say during the regular season, but things can fall apart in a hurry come playoff time. Let’s hope this peak chemistry is legitimate, because it appears as though, for better or worse, this current Clippers rotation is the one we’ll see in the postseason.