The Los Angeles Clippers have made multiple high-impact trades throughout the history of the franchise's 54 seasons in Buffalo, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Whether it's the Chris Paul trade, the move to get Paul George, or dealing on draft night for Elton Brand, the Clippers have plenty of trades to choose from.

For this exercise, we'll rank the top-10 trades in Clippers history based on the following criteria: On-court impact of the player acquired, quality of the actual trade itself, and importance to the overall franchise.

Without further ado, the 10 best trades in Clippers franchise history:

10. Ivica Zubac

Trade Details: Clippers acquire Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley from the Los Angeles Lakers for Mike Muscala.

Ivica Zubac may not be a big name, but he's quietly been one of the most reliable centers in the league since the Clippers acquired him from the Lakers in 2019.

Still only 26 years old, Zubac has already started 280 games for the Clippers in his young career and is already all over the career leaderboard for the Clippers franchise as one of the best offensive rebounders and efficient finishers that's ever won a Clippers uniform.

While Zubac still has a lot of time to climb these rankings, the lopsided nature of this deal (and that it took away a valuable player from the rival Lakers) makes it one of the best in Clippers history. Muscala was merely a rental for the Lakers and appeared in only 17 games, while the Clippers got a rock-solid starting center that won't become a free agent again until 2025.


9. Jim McMillan

Trade Details: Braves acquire Jim McMillan from the Los Angeles Lakers for Elmore Smith.

Another trade involving a center with the Lakers, but this one dates back to when the Clippers were the Buffalo Braves.

Despite being a starter on the 1972 championship team, the Lakers dealt McMillan to get a center in Elmore Smith. While the Braves couldn't quite get over the hump with McMillan, Buffalo did make three straight playoff appearances as McMillan formed a dynamic duo with Bob McAdoo, averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds a game for a Braves team he instantly helped turn into a winner.

Smith, meanwhile, only played in one season for the Lakers…but this time it eventually worked out pretty well for the Purple and Gold, as Smith was part of the deal that landed the Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


8. Norman Powell

Trade Details: Clippers acquire Norman Powell and Robert Covington from the Portland Trail Blazers for Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, and a 2025 second-round draft pick.

This might be a tad premature, but Powell is following in the footsteps of Jamal Crawford as an electric sixth man for the Clippers who seems destined for a few big playoff performances.

What earns this trade the No. 8 spot on the list is the sheer one-sidedness of the deal for the Clippers. Eric Bledsoe never played a game for the Blazers and is out of the league. As of this writing, Justise Winslow is a free agent and may be following a similar path. Keon Johnson, while still young, hasn't looked like an NBA player.

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It looks as though the Clippers effectively landed one of the league's best sixth men in Powell (and a useful rotation player in Robert Covington) for free. Aside from the massive Chris Paul and Paul George trade acquisitions, the Clippers have mostly made some nice “smaller” moves around the margins, and this might be the best of the bunch.


7. Doc Rivers (twice)

Trade Details: Clippers acquire Doc Rivers from the Atlanta Hawks for a 1991 first-round draft pick (Stacey Augmon), a 1993 second-round draft pick (Rich Manning), and a 1994 second-round draft pick (Gaylon Nickerson).

Doc Rivers gets the bonus of being traded for by the Clippers twice — once as a player, and once as a head coach. Both moves led the Clippers to instant success with Rivers in tow, as the 1991-92 team with Doc in the backcourt was the first Clippers' playoff team in Los Angeles.

Of course, Doc's impact as a coach weighs a lot heavier, as he racked up a .631 winning percentage and guided the team to six playoff appearances in seven seasons. While Rivers may ultimately be remembered for his inability to get the Clippers over the hump and win the franchise its first championship, there's no questioning that his leadership role after the Donald Sterling saga and his steadying force was a key factor in the franchise being uplifted from the dark days of continual losing.


6. Corey Maggette

Trade Details: Clippers acquire Corey Maggette from the Orlando Magic for Keyon Dooling, Derek Strong, and a 2006 first-round draft pick (Marcus Williams).

The Clippers weren't “buyers” that traded away draft picks for young players very often during Donald Sterling's tenure, but this deal for Maggette was one of the few times. And it worked! Maggette quickly became a dangerous and reliable scorer for the Clippers, using his bulldozing drives to get to the foul line at superstar rates. Maggette is the Clippers franchise all-time leader in free throws made by over 700 makes, and ranks in the top-5 in nearly every counting stat (games, minutes, points) because of his longevity with the team.

In eight seasons with the Clippers, Maggette averaged over 17 points and 5 rebounds per game and nearly helped the 2006 Clippers advance to the Western Conference Finals.

In exchange for two role players in Dooling and Strong, the Clippers got one of the most productive scorers in franchise history. Not bad.


5. Ron Harper

Trade Details: Clippers acquire Ron Harper and a 1990 first-round pick (Loy Vaught), a 1991 second-round draft pick (Joe Wylie) and a 1992 first-round draft pick (Elmore Spencer) from the Cleveland Cavaliers for Danny Ferry and Reggie Williams.

Ron Harper's five-year stint may be best remembered for how it ended, as he was counting down the days until he got to leave.

“I'm just doing my jail time,” Harper told the Associated Press. “In about 65 or 70 more days, my time is up and I'll be out on GB, good behavior.”

Harper ended up becoming a critical component of the Chicago Bulls championship runs, but it's often forgotten just how good he was for the Clippers, averaging nearly 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game during his time in Los Angeles. Considering the Clippers had very little leverage when acquiring him (Danny Ferry refused to play for the Clippers), the results could have been far worse.

Harper played on two playoff teams with the Clippers, while Loy Vaught carried the Clippers through some dark times in eight seasons with the franchise, leading the team in Win Shares for four straight seasons.


4. Sam Cassell

Trade Details: Clippers acquire Sam Cassell and a 2012 first-round pick (Austin Rivers) from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Lionel Chalmers and Marko Jaric.

Cassell was one of the most beloved players in Clippers history, rescuing the team from 12 straight losing seasons with his steady veteran leadership and playmaking ability. Cassell's first year with the Clippers resulted in the team nearly advancing to the Western Conference Finals before being stopped in Game 7 by Steve Nash's Phoenix Suns.

Although Cassell's time with the franchise was brief (two seasons), his impact was undeniable. He played on one of the best teams in franchise history and made the Clippers a legitimate destination, paving the way for the club to sign real free agents like Cuttino Mobley and later Baron Davis.

Despite it ultimately not resulting in a championship, it's clear that Cassell did more for the reputation of the Clippers than just about any veteran trade acquisition ever has for the franchise, save for maybe the Chris Paul trade. When you consider the price and the overall impact Cassell had, this is one of the best trades in franchise history.


3. Paul George

Trade Details: Clippers acquire Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, a 2021 first-round pick (Tre Mann), a 2022 first-round pick (Jalen Williams), a 2023 first-round pick (Jaime Jaquez Jr.), a 2024 first-round pick, a 2026 first-round pick and the right to swap first-round picks in 2025.

This one is impossible to rank correctly at this current time. While George has been as good as advertised in four seasons with the Clippers, he's also been hurt and has missed huge chunks of the regular season and playoffs as well.

Analyzing the trade for George has always been difficult — the Clippers wouldn't have been able to sign Kawhi Leonard if the deal for George wasn't done — and so the outsized trade cost wasn't really all for just George. Of course, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's emergence in Oklahoma City as one of the league's best young stars, it's clear that this trade will ultimately be graded in black and white instead of gray.

If the Clippers win a title with George and Leonard, this trade is a win. If they don't, it's a massive loss. That's the price of making an “all-in” move like this one. At this point, with George now 33, the window may be closing quickly to make this one of the best deals in franchise history.


2. Elton Brand

Trade Details: Clippers acquire Elton Brand from the Chicago Bulls for Tyson Chandler and Brian Skinner.

Elton Brand's arrival to Los Angeles didn't result in instant winning like some of the other major acquisitions in franchise history, but it's hard to hold him responsible for that given the chaos around him during his entire tenure with the Clippers. Brand was a two-time All-Star across seven seasons with the Clippers, and even finished 7th in MVP votes during the 2005-06 season. Brand is in or near the top-5 in nearly every statistical category all-time for the Clippers, and is undoubtedly one of the best players in franchise history.

Acquiring a true star forward in exchange for a rookie center in Tyson Chandler, who would only figure it out far after he left the Chicago Bulls, was a massive trade win for the Clippers. Brand's tenure connected two iconic eras for the Clippers — the “knuckleheads” teams with Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson, and the veteran teams with Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley.

At the heart of all that was Brand, who was in his prime and on pace to become the franchise's greatest player until he ruptured his Achilles tendon and eventually left in free agency.


1. Chris Paul

Trade Details: Clippers acquire Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets for Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, and a 2012 first-round draft pick (Austin Rivers).

Chris Paul's trade to the Clippers dwarfs all others in comparison.

Paul made a bigger immediate impact than any other trade acquisition, taking the Clippers from a 32-50 team to a Western Conference Semifinalist the very next season. Paul also overwhelmingly outproduced the players he was traded for, as Eric Gordon was the only player who went on to be a quality starter after the deal. And most importantly, Paul had a major long-lasting impact on the franchise, taking the Clippers from a perennial loser to a real free agent and marketable destination alongside Blake Griffin.

Paul was named an All-Star in five seasons — tied for the most in franchise history with Griffin — and had the team on the brink of Western Conference Finals appearances multiple times before bad luck and injuries struck.

In just six seasons, the Chirs Paul trade completely altered the trajectory of an entire franchise and produced some unforgettable teams. While the disappointment that the “Lob City” Clippers teams never won a championship still lingers, there's no question that acquiring future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul was the best trade in franchise history.