All the players linked to the Clippers in trade rumors
The Clippers are poised to make a trade before Thursday’s trade deadline. This front office has made a mid-season trade every season since 2017-18 and that trend doesn’t appear to change now.
As mentioned in HoopsHype’s trade guide, they have an abundance of large moveable salaries that could help match for just about anyone in a deal. They can move either their 2028 or 2029 first-round pick to get a starting-caliber player or up to six second-round picks for marginal upgrades. They also have a massive spending advantage to add more salary on top of their $336 million roster.
Below is a list of players they’ve been linked to and a potential framework for them.
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Fred VanVleet may be the most talented player the Clippers have been linked to. They are interested in adding a traditional lead point guard and VanVleet is one of the best available after striking out on Kyrie Irving. He’s expected to decline his $22.8 million player option for next season for a significant raise which the Clippers could accommodate.
The Clippers should have enough assets to acquire VanVleet. But after stealing Kawhi Leonard from the Raptors four years ago, it’s possible they’ll attempt to squeeze the Clippers for every asset they have. Would a package featuring all of Terance Mann, Ivica Zubac, Luke Kennard, Brandon Boston, and one first-round pick be too much? What if they also require the Clippers to take back salaries like Otto Porter Jr. and Khem Birch on top of that? If the Clippers truly want VanVleet, they may have to pay a steep price since they wouldn’t be able to sign him in free agency.
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The Clippers have been monitoring D’Angelo Russell, who could be a more affordable option at point guard than VanVleet. The Clippers would need to send out $25 million to match for Russell, which could be accomplished with a combination of two or three players. Minnesota has a decision to make on Russell with his impending unrestricted free agency. If they don’t extend or re-sign him, they will have a tough time replacing him in free agency.
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Mike Conley has been linked to the Clippers for a while now. He thought that he would be traded to the Clippers last offseason and now that possibility might be unlikely to happen if they aren’t willing to offer a first-round pick. The 35-year-old guard earns $22.7 million this season and is owed $24.4 million in 2023-24, which is only guaranteed for $14.3 million.
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Christian Wood is another player the Clippers are monitoring, per Marc Stein. They lack a veteran big man presence in the backcourt and Wood would be a solid fit for when they want to play five out. With the Mavericks light on wing depth after trading Dorian Finney-Smith, a swap involving Marcus Morris or Robert Covington could make sense for both sides.
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The Clippers have expressed interest in a reunion with last season’s backup center Isaiah Hartenstein. They were extremely limited towards re-signing him last summer, which led him to join the Knicks for two years, $16 million. His skillset could be better utilized back in Los Angeles if the Knicks acquire a different backup center with better rebounding and rim protection, attributes that head coach Tom Thibodeau prioritizes heavily in a center. Hartenstein’s $7.8 million salary could fit into the Clippers’ $9.7 million trade exception.
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Story originally appeared on HoopsHype
Source: Yahoo Sports