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Clippings: Sorting through Clippers trade rumors

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Are there any realistic options for the Clippers?

Los Angeles Clippers v Toronto Raptors Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The NBA passed an important deadline over the weekend: As of Feb. 6, players who were signed as free agents during the offseason are now eligible to be traded. Given that the traded deadline is on March 25, we are entering peak trade season.

That also means that we are in silly season for trade rumors, and the Clippers have been involved in plenty of those. Now seems like a good time to figure out which of those fake trades actually make sense for this Clipper team.

The first one that we can cross off the list is a deal for Derrick Rose, who was traded to the New York Knicks Sunday. The Clippers were reportedly interested in the former MVP, per The Athletic, but Rose presumably won’t be moved again this season, especially since he has reunited with head coach Tom Thibodeau.

The reported dalliance with Rose suggests that the Clippers are looking to upgrade at the guard position, which has become more pressing with the team’s latest injuries. One such player who could fit that bill is Kyle Lowry, as Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report notes that the Raptors may be considering moving on from their franchise star.

Los Angeles Clippers v Toronto Raptors
Would Kyle Lowry want to team up with Kawhi Leonard again?
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Clippers would have to send quite a few players out to cobble the matching salary to acquire Lowry. One of those players would have to be Ivica Zubac, arguably the lone young player of promise on this roster, and it might be hard to stomach sending out Zubac for the 34-year-old Lowry, who is on an expiring contract. Fischer writes that Lowry has a strong relationship with head coach Ty Lue, however, so he may be convinced to stay beyond a rental if Toronto indeed pivots toward a rebuild.

One other interesting nugget from Fischer’s report concerns the availability of Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley in trades:

Los Angeles has made it widely known that Lou Williams is available, sources said, and there’s a cohort in that front office ready to move on from Patrick Beverley as well.

Moving on from Williams is the only way the Clippers can realistically make a trade. He’s on the last year of his contract, and the team just committed four years to the player who feels like his replacement in Kennard, so it’s no surprise that Williams would be shopped. Beverley’s inclusion is a little more surprising. He fits quite well alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, though it’s possible that the front office is frustrated with his availability on the court, or lack thereof.

Certainly, Lowry would be an upgrade on the Clippers’ existing options at point guard. Such a deal would also make the Clippers feel strongly like Raptors West if Lowry were to join Leonard and Serge Ibaka in Los Angeles, though that isn’t necessarily a problem. The Clippers could also target Lonzo Ball if they’re interested in a defensive guard, though that market appears to have quieted as Ball has been on a recent tear for New Orleans. Or they could just wait out this current injury bug and power through with their current roster.

Who do you think the Clippers should target in a trade? Who would you be willing to move?

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