Heading into next month’s NBA trade deadline, it definitely makes sense to expect that Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, who was an All-Defensive First Team selection in 2018 and is a career 36% shooter from three. So, it’s unsurprising that according to the Wall Street Journal’s Ben Cohen, not only are the Clippers interested in Covington but they are joined in their pursuit by the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets.
In addition to his on-court value, Covington is in his prime at 29 years old and has a very team-friendly contract, locked into his deal at 12.1M next year and 12.9M the year after. Given his salary range and position, it makes most sense that Maurice Harkless would be the Clippers’ outgoing contract in a deal, but they would need to add additional value in order to make a deal—and even then, they might get outbid. It’s also work considering that because of his long-term contract, the Wolves don’t have any reason to move him unless they get a fantastic offer.
As part of our current “Trade Target Breakdown” series, I have a full analysis of Covington ready to come out later this week. Here’s a snippet from that:
Covington is very good at what he does, but he’s a 3-and-D wing. The Clippers happen to feature Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, so they aren’t exactly in urgent need of Covington’s services. In fact, he’s the kind of guy that other Western Conference playoff teams should be chasing at the deadline to help them against the Clippers. That doesn’t mean he would be without value to the Clippers, though. Currently, the Clippers are playing small and running Moe Harkless at power forward—Covington would be a significant upgrade at both ends. A potential small-ball lineup that features Patrick Beverley, George, Leonard, and Covington would be a terror to other teams offensively and defensively. And even in situations where the Clippers don’t want to play small, Covington is a much, much better substitute for their star wings than the likes of Rodney McGruder.