The Los Angeles Clippers continue to battle back this offseason in the aftermath of Paul George's departure that puts an end to the five-year partnership between him and Kawhi Leonard. George's decision to leave for the Philadelphia 76ers has put the Clippers in a bit of a pickle in terms of roster-building, but at the very least, they have leaned into an identity of stifling defense by signing Derrick Jones Jr., Nicolas Batum, Kris Dunn, and Mo Bamba to new deals.

However, losing George will be very detrimental to the Clippers' offense. Moreover, the Clippers haven't exactly made any moves to rectify their ongoing problem at the power forward position. So why not kill two birds with one stone by acquiring Miles Bridges, a 20-points per game scorer with the Charlotte Hornets who would give them an athletic presence who's accustomed to playing at the four?

And it looks as though the Clippers have kicked the tires on signing the 26-year old forward out of Michigan State, with Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reporting that they, indeed, “have interest” in signing Bridges.

The Clippers owned the pick that the Hornets used to draft Miles Bridges back in 2018 before a draft-night trade saw LA move up to select Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The less said now about Gilgeous-Alexander's Clippers stint the better, now that Paul George is nothing but a thing of the past for the franchise. Nonetheless, there is history between Bridges and the Clippers, and it will be interesting to see if the team's reported interest in signing him proves to be more than just speculation.

Can LA pull off a sign and trade for Miles Bridges?

At present, the Clippers are way above the salary cap, which means that they cannot easily give Miles Bridges the contract he feels he'll be deserving of after averaging 21.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on 46/35/83 shooting splits in 69 games for the Hornets last season.

Thus, for the Clippers to acquire Bridges, they will have to resort to a sign-and-trade, which means that players such as Norman Powell, Terance Mann, and PJ Tucker could be on the move in a potential trade to the Hornets.

Powell and Mann, in particular, “have been discussed for a possible deal”, according to Turner. The Hornets will definitely prefer to get back one of those two instead of Tucker in any sign-and-trade deals. After all, Powell and Mann should be hot commodities on their own which could help net the Hornets even more assets amid their ongoing rebuild.

The Clippers have become very guard-heavy in the aftermath of Paul George's departure, making them ripe for a guard for forward trade. But which of Powell or Mann will they prefer to keep? If the Clippers were to be serious about becoming the best defensive team in the association, then keeping Mann will be the way to go. The 27-year old wing out of Florida State showed in the 2024 NBA playoffs how stifling of a defender he can be when he defended Luka Doncic as well as anyone could.

However, the Clippers' signings this offseason are not nearly enough to keep them humming on offense. James Harden is an all-time great conductor of the offense, but there is only so much a 35-year old Harden can do. Thus, keeping Norman Powell, the man who has bailed the Clippers out on so many occasions, would give them some better two-way balance.

Clippers love handing out second chances?

There is no question that Miles Bridges is a talented player. Bridges' athleticism makes him a sight to behold on the court, and he began to put all of his physical tools in one cohesive package during his breakout 2021-22 campaign. However, his stock came crashing down after he was charged with felony domestic violence.

Bridges ended up missing the entirety of the 2022-23 season, and he was suspended by the NBA to begin the 2023-24 campaign as well. While the 26-year old avoided the wrath of the law this past season, signing Bridges still comes with a PR hit due to his questionable history. In fact, the mere thought of the Clippers entertaining the idea of acquiring Bridges has put off many fans.

The Clippers' decision to sign Kevin Porter Jr. after he was cut by the Houston Rockets last season after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault and harassment violation has already left a sour taste in supporters' mouths. Moreover, signing Josh Primo after his flashing incidents with the San Antonio Spurs has fans cementing the Clippers as the type of organization that disregards off-court baggage in the name of acquiring talent.

While there is a certain admirability in handing out second chances to those who have done wrong, habitually getting into business with those with checkered pasts may not be the reputation the Clippers organization wants to build.