For months, the Clippers appeared to be hunting for a point guard upgrade on the trade market. There have been plenty of reports linking them to the likes of Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley, and even D’Angelo Russell. But when the dust of the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline settled, the only point guard they came away with was young scorer Bones Hyland, who doesn’t particularly fit the traditional floor general mold.
But looking at the Clippers’ decision from a closer perspective, it becomes increasingly clear why they failed to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade for the likes of VanVleet. Per Zach Lowe of ESPN, the Clippers “got nowhere close” with the Raptors on a trade for FVV.
The Raptors wouldn’t budge on their astronomical asking price in a potential Fred VanVleet trade, which may have required the Clippers to relinquish Terance Mann, a beloved figure, along with plenty of draft capital.
In addition, Lowe added that the Clippers reportedly “never had serious talks” for D’Angelo Russell and Kyle Lowry. Meanwhile, the Clippers found the price range for Mike Conley to be too prohibitive for their taste.
Even then, the Clippers should not be too upset about ending up with Bones Hyland. The 22-year old guard still has two years remaining on his rookie deal after this season ends, which is exactly the kind of asset the Clippers need given how deep they are into the luxury tax.
Hyland should still have tons of room to develop his playmaking; he could very well leverage the threat of his already deadly jumpshot to help him manipulate defenses.
At the end of the day, it’s difficult to call the Clippers anything but winners following a strong NBA trade deadline showing.