The Los Angeles Clippers failed to make the playoffs last season due to two losses in the play-in tournament. This 2022-23 campaign marks the fourth season since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joined forces with the Clippers, and they have still not made the NBA Finals. With a fully healthy roster entering training camp, the Clippers are favored to compete with the Golden State Warriors at the top of the West, possibly even winning it all. 

There is no doubt the Clippers are currently the deepest team in the NBA. Even with Ivica Zubac as the traditional lone big man in their rotation, they have more than 10 reliable players coach Tyronn Lue can deploy at any moment. The versatility and athleticism of LA is top-notch, and should keep this team toward the top of the regular season standings. The bigger question facing the Clippers is what will happen come playoff time, and trading these two players could help catapult them to a championship. 

Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson finally found a home with the Clippers when he was bought out by the Detroit Pistons in 2019. That was a welcome shift to a winning environment for Jackson, who was quickly slotted into a major role by coach Doc Rivers. Jackson’s shot-making prowess and varied offensive repertoire makes him the type of player who can go off for 20-30 points on any given night, but consistency remains the missing link for the former Boston College guard.

There have been many nights during his Clippers tenure Jackson leads the team in shots despite his penchant for inefficiency. He is also more of a score-first ball handler who would prefer creating his shot to orchestrating the offense as a table-setter. LA has been without a true floor general for years as a result, the biggest reason the team signed a pass-first facilitator like John Wall in free agency. 

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

The starting point guard battle will be decided between Jackson and Wall during training camp. The intrigue of trading Jackson would be due to him clashing as the main ball handler with Wall, not to mention superstars like Leonard and George. He is also on an expiring contract, which could entice both the Clippers and a potential trade partner to get a Jackson deal done if the price is right.

Robert Covington

The Clippers’ trade for Norman Powell and Robert Covington was a shocking move that almost no one saw coming. It was Powell who had more of an immediate impact, with Covington settling in as a second-string forward who thrived as a help defender and catch-and-shoot player. With this small-ball Clippers squad entering the season, Covington may need to play the five in some instances.

With more than five rotation-level wings on the roster, team president Lawrence Frank could decide to swing Covington for a heftier forward who has a better chance at defending elite bigs one-on-one in the playoffs. Making Zubac play Nikola Jokic or Karl Anthony Towns for all 48 minutes in a seven-game series will not cut it for the Clippers. Covington can be that trade chip who would attract interest and give LA a second big man to replace the spot of Isaiah Hartenstein.

The switchability and off-ball defensive prowess of Covington would be missed, but Lue still has the likes of Nicolas Batum, Terance Mann and even Marcus Morris or Amir Coffey to fill that void.