In June, there was a report from Sportando (a reasonably reputable international basketball site) that the Clippers weren’t going to keep Milos Teodosic. The sense was that the Clippers were going to either trade him or waive him after he opted into his player deal for 2018-2019. The thought that Milos wouldn’t be on the Clippers next year only gained momentum when the Clips drafted two guards - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson - in the NBA draft just a week later. On top of that, Avery Bradley was re-signed by the Clippers last week, bringing yet another guard back to the roster. With so many guards on the roster who need minutes, Milos’ tenure with the Clippers appeared to be at an end.
But maybe not! Today, a report from Euro Hoops (another semi-reputable site) said that the Clippers are now planning on keeping Milos, as they aren’t near the salary hard cap. The writer cites the Clippers’ record with vs. without Milos last year as a reason for the Clippers to keep them. This much is true: everything the Clippers have done this summer suggests they are hellbent on making the playoffs next year, and retaining Milos does make the Clippers a better team. A Pat Beverley-Avery Bradley-Lou Williams-Milos Teodosic guard rotation is quite good, if a bit light on star power, and would keep the Clippers from relying too heavily on the rookies next year.
On the other hand, while the Clippers are trying to win, they’ve also invested a lot in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson, and it would be odd for them to completely bury them on the bench their rookie seasons. There’s also the issue of who else would leave if Milos is kept. CJ Williams’ non-guaranteed contract seems a surety to be cut, but after that, guaranteed money would be lost. Would the Clippers not re-sign Montrezl Harrell? Do they have to outright cut Jawun Evans, a guy they just bought the draft rights to for several million dollars last summer? Those are all possibilities, sure, but trading Milos to a team like the Suns still seems like the easier move.
Anyway, Milos’ deal becomes guaranteed on July 15, so if the Clippers are moving on, we will likely see a move of some kind in the next couple days. Stay tuned.