At the start of the 2021-22 campaign, the Los Angeles Clippers had three natural point guards on their roster: Eric Bledsoe, Jason Preston and Reggie Jackson. By the end of the season, only Jackson remained because Bledsoe was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers at the deadline and Preston underwent season-ending surgery on his right foot.
Jackson earned Tyronn Lue’s trust as the team’s starting point guard last season, and the hope is that Preston will be ready to play minutes behind him as soon as next season, but according to Andrew Grief of the Los Angeles Times, the Clippers will be in the market for reinforcements at the point guard position this summer:
The Clippers have high hopes for [Preston] with preternatural anticipation and passing. Yet how many opportunities the young player will have to make mistakes is difficult to predict with the team expected to pursue a point guard while transitioning into a title-or-bust pursuit.
The Clippers have no shortage of contracts they can send out in a trade, but Marcus Morris is the only one that stands out as expendable, at least for the sake of more help at the point guard position. Morris is under contract for $16.3 million next season and $17.1 million the following season, so finding a start-caliber point guard with a similar salary won’t be hard. What might prove to be difficult is finding a trade parter if they’re unwilling to include assets in addition to Morris.
Right now, the Clippers are set to pick 43rd in the 2022 NBA Draft, but if they’re serious about bolstering their point guard depth, that pick will likely have to be on the table in trade negotiations. If not that pick, then a future first or second-round pick.
In any case, no one should expect anything to heat up until closer to the NBA Draft, which is scheduled to take place on June 23.