The Clippers could be ready to make a deal of some kind on or before the trade deadline. Keep in mind that since acquiring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, they have participated in every trade deadline. Right now, the pressure is mounting as a result of their underwhelming campaign. Fortunately, they have a number of tradeable assets and no financial constraints when making potential transactions. Here we will look at the players the Clippers must move ahead of the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline, including Robert Covington.
The Clippers must consider which players to give up if they make a major trade. They have built a roster with a lot of depth at the wing position for playoff success. In fact, nearly every player they have possesses a unique set of skills. They may even eventually choose to keep everyone, including Covington. That’s even if has had limited playing time. The reality is that this team is well-stocked at wing.
If you ask us, however, we hope they can package any surplus wings for upgrades in other areas. For instance, they could potentially focus on adding a guard and a backup center.
They may target a point guard like Mike Conley or Kyle Lowry if they want a veteran leader in the backcourt. They could also look for a center through the buyout market or swing a big trade for someone like Myles Turner.
Alternatively, if the Clippers don’t want to move any current players, they could use a $9.7 million trade exception. However, this would increase their luxury tax bill by up to $60 million. They also have the option of trading a first-round pick in either 2028 or 2029 and up to six second-round picks to include in any potential deal.
With that said, let’s look at the players the Clippers must move ahead of the 2023 NBA trade deadline.
2. Amir Coffey
The Clippers intend to spend any remaining resources to strengthen their lineup, particularly at center. As such, Amir Coffey may be packaged in a potential trade. Take note that he only averages 3.7 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game at the moment. Coffey is undoubtedly not a household name and might not even command a large exchange on the trading board. He may, however, be a valuable addition to a transaction that might revolve around…
1. Robert Covington
The Clippers are considered one of the most well-rounded teams in the league. Some feel they don’t even need to make any trades. However, Robert Covington has not been playing much this season. He is currently averaging 5.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. Despite standing just 6’7, he has had to play backup center this season.
Great lift here by Robert Covington as TyTy Washington overhelps at the nail. Gives RoCo all the space he needs pic.twitter.com/N7WFUCqvEk
— Shane Young (@YoungNBA) January 15, 2023
Despite this, he is a valuable player to watch due to his defensive versatility and ability to shoot from long range. Covington also has a manageable salary of $12.3 million. Sure, the team’s strengths are in their wing and guard depth, so any move that negatively impacts that would be risky. However, Covington has already fallen out of the rotation.
If they could trade him for a more traditional big man, it would be worth considering. Keep in mind that Ivica Zubac is currently the only center on the roster who has played over 200 minutes this season. Yes, the team is winning games even when he is not playing. However, having more depth at center for a potential playoff matchup against someone like Nikola Jokić would be beneficial.
Enter a potential trade for Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers. Remember that the Clippers had previously shown interest in him. And while Zubac has been a rock-solid inside player, combining him with Turner would instantly provide one of the greatest interior pairings in the league. Not to mention, the Clippers’ fifth-ranked defense may become impregnable with the addition of the two-time blocks leader.
The Clippers may also add extra depth by going for Houston’s Eric Gordon or Detroit’s Alec Burks. Doing this can improve the Clippers’ 28th-ranked offense. This is how either Burks or Gordon can add value. Both have the ability to start offenses or play catch-and-shoot positions off the ball. Additionally, neither is a defensive liability. Getting either player allows the Clippers to solve a critical issue without sacrificing their best assets.
Of course, the Clippers may also bring in another ball-handler. Reggie Jackson and John Wall are both good. However, at this point in their careers, neither of them is a real pass-first choice. Remember that the Clippers rank 28th overall in assist-to-turnover ratio. Getting someone like Utah’s Mike Conley Jr. or Miami’s Kyle Lowry would benefit the Clippers greatly.
Packaging Covington, Coffey, and a pick or two should do the trick if the Clippers pull the trigger on any of these potential transactions.