The NBA Draft is over and the Los Angeles Clippers are preparing to make some moves during the NBA offseason. In all reality, the Clippers prized acquisition for next season will be the return of Kawhi Leonard. Having Leonard and Paul George on the floor will be enough to place them firmly in contention. However, the Clippers still have one pressing issue they must address during the offseason.
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Biggest Clippers Need After 2022 NBA Draft
The Clippers have a number of key role players set to hit free agency. Ivica Zubac has a club option, while Nicolas Batum, Rodney Hood, and Amir Coffey are just a few of the names set to be on the open market.
However, the Clippers greatest need actually doesn’t revolve around depth. Sure, depth is one of the keys to success and the Clippers should attempt to sign role players. But their main need revolves around their star-studded duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Time for a “Big 3”
The Clippers need to add another superstar. The return of Leonard will help entrench the Clippers back into contention. But his health concerns are problematic. Adding another star would lessen the burden should Leonard or George deal with another injury next season. And yes, Normal Powell is a good player. But he would be a remarkable fourth option behind a true Big 3.
Reggie Jackson is the current Clippers point guard. He is a talented player but could be a trade chip for LA.
But who would this third star be?
And the third star is…
The Clippers have been linked to Kyrie Irving following the news of his potential free agency. Irving is one of the most talented, albeit controversial players in the NBA. George and Leonard are wing players so Irving would fit right in at point guard. Trading Jackson would lend a hand in monetary restrictions as well.
Damian Lillard is another enticing option for LA. Although Lillard seems committed to the Trail Blazers, Portland may opt for a full rebuild this offseason. Los Angeles is a prime candidate to acquire the veteran point guard.
But the Clippers could go in a different direction from a positional perspective. They could try and sign/trade for an elite big man.
Jusuf Nurkic is an under-the-radar center set to hit unrestricted free agency in 2022-2023. He would be cheaper than a player such as Kyrie Irving and would help LA in the post.
But we can’t discuss free agent big men without mention Deandre Ayton. Ayton emerged as a top-tier post player with the Suns but a falling out has led many to believe Ayton will test the free agent market. It should be noted that he is a restricted free agent. Nonetheless, a team consisting of Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Deandre Ayton would be lethal.
Finances obviously need to be considered. Both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have max contracts. Norman Powell also has a big contract to his name. So trading one of Marcus Morris Sr or Luke Kennard, who both have sizable contracts, would be crucial in adding a third star.
It will be interesting to see if LA can sign/trade for a third star this offseason. It would ultimately be the difference between a postseason contender and an NBA Finals favorite.