There’s no debating that the Los Angeles Clippers are one of the top teams in the Western Conference, but so far this season, the results haven’t exactly added up. They aren’t in a horrible spot considering they are 21-18, which is good for sixth place in the Western Conference, but considering all the talent the Clippers have at their disposal, you can’t help but feel like they aren’t meeting expectations this season.
In a way, it makes sense, as Los Angeles has dealt with several injuries to start the season. Kawhi Leonard is still working his way back to full health from a torn ACL, Paul George picked up another hamstring injury, and a couple other key players have been in and out of the lineup on multiple occasions, highlighting how this team simply cannot stay healthy right now.
When they fully get healthy, the Clippers should be in a good spot, but whether or not that ever will happen remains to be seen. An easy way to improve the team in case that doesn’t happen is by swinging a couple of deals on the trade market before the deadline closes. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at two of the best trades the Clippers could make to shore up their rotation over the second half of the season.
2. The Clippers will trade away Robert Covington in a deal for Coby White
An area the Clippers could definitely use some help with is their point guard depth. John Wall and Reggie Jackson are an OK top duo, and while Paul George can play as a shooting guard in the backcourt, there isn’t much behind these guys when it comes to guys who can run the offense. Luke Kennard and Terance Mann have been strong shooting guard options, but they can’t really play the point guard position.
Going out and picking up another point guard would be a very good idea, which is why trading for Coby White on the Chicago Bulls makes a lot of sense. White has never truly panned out with the Bulls, and with his role being slashed this season, it seems increasingly likely he will get moved before the trade deadline.
White’s numbers this season aren’t exactly good (7.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 41.8 FG%) but it’s clear he’s not being given much of an opportunity to make his impact on the Bulls right now. White is a solid bench scorer who can run the offense when needed, and while his current assist rate doesn’t show it, he’s a much better passer than he has shown this season.
In exchange, the Clippers would send Robert Covington and a second-round pick to the Bulls to clear out a somewhat crowded wing rotation. Covington hasn’t been used much by the Clippers, but he has value elsewhere as a versatile frontcourt piece, and he could immediately slot into Chicago’s rotation. It’s not the biggest move ever, but White has a lot of potential, and he’s worth taking a flier on with the team needing another point guard to come off the bench.
1. The Clippers will trade for josh richardson using a package centered around Nic Batum
Making an upgrade in the wing rotation could be a crucial move for the Clippers, especially with Leonard and George continuing to deal with injuries. One such player who will likely be available on the trade market is Josh Richardson, who is currently biding his time with the rebuilding San Antonio Spurs.
Richardson is a strong two-way wing who has the potential to be an impact player for the Clippers either off the bench or in a starting capacity. Richardson has been having an OK season (10.3 PPG, 3 APG, 2.5 RPG, 41 FG%) for the Spurs, but he would likely benefit greatly from joining a playoff contender rather than being stuck on a Spurs squad that won’t be winning anytime soon.
Beyond the injury issues with Leonard and George, the Clippers could benefit from upgrading some of their current wing players, such as Nic Batum. Batum continues to see a smaller and smaller role with the Clippers, and it would make sense to try to dump him on the Spurs while they still can while throwing in a first-round pick to sweeten up the deal.
The Clippers obviously don’t have a ton of future draft picks to work with here, but parting with one of those picks may be necessary to help this team reach its Finals goals. It wouldn’t be glamorous, but adding in their 2028 first-round pick (or the ability to swap picks) with some protections on it would prevent the Clippers from getting burned in the future, while also ensuring they aren’t overpaying for Richardson. It’s another under the radar move, but adding Richardson could be just what the Clippers need to make a run this season.