The Los Angeles Clippers desperately need a starting point guard, and Kawhi Leonard knows it.
According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Leonard has “privately clamored” for the Clippers to address their point guard position. The team started Patrick Beverley at the point guard spot for much of the 2019-20 season.
However, the Chicago native is not a traditional floor general who can score like the other elite guards in the NBA and run a team’s offense by getting others involved and putting players in positions to be successful.
The Clippers are under a lot of pressure this offseason to improve the team after they blew a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 2020 playoffs at Walt Disney World.
With that being said, here are three point guard options for the Clippers.
1. D.J. Augustin
D.J. Augustin becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He played with Clippers small forward Paul George on the Indiana Pacers in 2012-13, so George knows first hand what the veteran guard can bring to the table.
With the Orlando Magic in 2019-20, Augustin appeared in 57 games. He averaged 10.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists while shooting 39.9 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from beyond the arc and 89.0 percent from the free-throw line.
While Augustin isn’t an explosive scorer, he’s a sound midrange and 3-point shooter. The Texas product is a career 37.9 percent shooter from beyond the arc.
The Clippers, who run their offense through Leonard and George, can have Augustin spot up from the perimeter when Leonard and George get double-teamed in the post. More often than not, Augustin is going to make the open 3 or put the ball on the floor and create his own shot off the dribble.
Augustin is also a sturdy passer, as he is averaging 4.0 assists per game for his career. The Clippers should reach out to D.J.’s agent once the 2020 free agency period opens and try to sign the 32-year-old.
2. Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo is expected to decline his 2020-21 player option with the Los Angeles Lakers and test the open market. Nothing would piss off the Lakers more than the Clippers stealing Rondo away from them.
Rondo is the ideal point guard Leonard is looking for. He’s a pass-first guy who is usually going to make the right basketball play.
The Lakers wouldn’t have won the 2020 title over the Miami Heat in six games without the contributions of Rondo, who put up 19 points and four assists in Game 6 in 30 minutes of action while shooting 72.7 percent from the field and 75.0 percent from the 3-point line.
Over the years, Rondo has improved his 3-point shooting, so the floor spacing on the Clippers wouldn’t be too bad when the two-time champion is on the floor alongside Leonard, George and Ivica Zubac. Kawhi and PG have never played with an elite passer like Rondo, who is one of the best pure point guards of his generation.
With that being said, the Clippers should exhaust all options to try and snag Rondo away from LeBron James and Co. and make the rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers even more exciting.
3. Derrick Rose
The Clippers could have traded for Derrick Rose at the 2020 trade deadline, but the Detroit Pistons were seeking a first-round pick in return for the former MVP and the Clippers don’t have control of their own first-round pick until 2027.
Rose has one-year left on his contract with the Pistons, so the Clippers will have to trade for the Chicago native this offseason if they really want him.
In 2019-20, Rose averaged 18.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 50 games. He shot 49.0 percent from the field, 30.6 percent from beyond the arc and 87.1 percent from the free-throw line. Rose could be the Clippers’ third option on offense behind Leonard and George and take some of the offensive pressure off of the two All-Stars in the fourth quarter since he’s a proven one-on-one scorer.
In Game 6 against the Nuggets, neither Leonard nor George scored in the fourth quarter, as both California natives were settling for jump shots. Rose, who shot 53.5 percent on two-pointers with the Pistons, is a good midrange shooter and still one of the best drivers and finishers at the rim despite undergoing four knee surgeries since winning his MVP award in 2011 with the Chicago Bulls.
Rose is usually commanding a lot of traffic around him when he’s putting his head down and getting to the rim. The open looks George and Leonard would get playing next to Rose would be night and day compared to the contested shots they are taking right now.