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The reason Clippers got 4 2nd-round picks from Pistons in Luke Kennard trade

Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, and Brooklyn Nets orchestrated a draft-day trade that landed guard Luke Kennard to the Clippers. Meanwhile, the Nets acquired Landry Shamet in the deal, while the Pistons received the draft rights to no. 19 overall pick Saddiq Bey. In addition to the deal, the Pistons also sent four 2nd round picks to the Clips.

Per Zach Lowe of ESPN, L.A. acquired those four 2nd rounders as added compensation for Luke Kennard’s knee injury history.

Those four second-rounders appear to have been in part the cost of Kennard’s past knee issues, sources say. Kennard’s camp is confident those issues are behind him. The Clippers must be too, because they adored Landry Shamet — whom they traded to Brooklyn in this three-team deal. I’m sure other factors contributed to the Pistons tossing away those picks: their concern that Kennard’s next contract didn’t align with their rebuilding timetable, and their strong interest in Bey.

Kennard was on his way to having a breakout 2019-20 campaign. He averaged career-bests in points (15.8), rebounds (3.5), and assists (4.1) in his third NBA season and showed a lot of promise as a playmaking two-guard.

Unfortunately, he developed knee tendinitis midway through the season, which kept him on the sidelines from late December 2019 onward. The lefty shooting guard was reportedly eyeing a return right before the COVID-19 mayhem halted the season.

Lingering issues are often a red flag. While Kennard’s camp reportedly believes those issues are in the past, this has to be something the Clippers should keep an eye on for next season.

No doubt, Kennard, with his steady three-point shooting (he’s a career 40.2 percent shooter from three) and playmaking ability, should be a valuable part of L.A.’s rotation next season. However, he’ll need to prove that he’ll be able to stay on the floor. If he doesn’t, well at least the Clippers got four second-rounders as insurance.