Every NBA team has officially been in offseason mode for the past week, and on Monday, the league finally got its first big trade of the summer.
New Orleans traded Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, the 10th and 40th picks in Thursday’s draft, and a protected to 2022 first-rounder to Memphis. In return, the Grizzlies sent back Jonas Valanciunas and Nos. 17 and 51 in the draft. On the surface, this is a move between marginal playoff contenders that has little impact on the Clippers. But, it could be a prelude of things to come.
First of all, the Pelicans are reportedly clearing cap space for a run at Kyle Lowry. That would make Lonzo Ball expendable, and the Clippers have expressed interest in the Los Angeles product for some time. Chris Haynes also noted that Bledsoe is unlikely to report to Memphis, which means the former Clipper is probably searching for a contender as a new home. As a buyout candidate, the Clippers could do a lot worse than Bledsoe for some point guard depth. He’s better than Yogi Ferrell.
There continue to be rumors about other All-Stars beyond Lowry being on the move. Bradley Beal is apparently ruminating on his future in Washington, the Damian Lillard and Ben Simmons situations are in need of perpetual monitoring, and Oklahoma City has even made Shai Gilgeous-Alexander available, though only if it nets the Thunder the top pick in the 2021 draft, a.k.a Cade Cunningham.
The Clippers haven’t been mentioned as a possible target in any of these discussions, which isn’t too surprising since they have no assets for trades (though that hasn’t kept the Lakers out of such rumors). Perhaps the front office is satisfied with the current roster, provided Kawhi Leonard can return by the end of the season. Then again, the Clippers keep a tight lid on their machinations. With the draft two days away, there’s still time for them to get in on the fun.
More news for Tuesday:
- Law Murray got a new medical perspective on Leonard’s injury.
- Marc Spears reports that the Clippers have shown interest in DeMar DeRozan.
- Dan Devine has a comprehensive guide to free agency.
- Kevin Pelton ranks the 2021 free agents based on their expected performance over the next three years.
- Sam Vecenie breaks down the 2021 draft class by skill set. This is a really interesting way of approaching the draft.
- Josh Weinfuss goes deep with Diana Taurasi.