The perfect trade Clippers must offer Thunder for Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker of the Thunder is aware that after another heartbreaking playoff campaign, the Los Angeles Clippers are back to the drawing board. Not having Kawhi Leonard for the latter part of the postseason was tough. The Clippers know that injuries are part of the game. So this was more of an unfortunate incident than anything.
Outside of the Leonard issue, the Clippers should continue making their roster better. They should not be afraid of tweaking their roster even if it means letting go of some of their prized players. Especially now that there are really good players who are still looking for a team that wants them. Kemba Walker is one of these players. Though he was recently traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, rumors suggest that the team is looking to ship him. After all, the Thunder are pretty loaded in the point guard spot.
Given the circumstance between the two parties, Walker heading to the Clippers isn’t far from reality. But first, they have to arrange a trade package which, at face value, might cost them a lot. But in the long run, it might be just good enough to propel them into a much more solid title contender.
Clippers get: Kemba Walker, Isaiah Roby, 2021 1st Round Pick (18th via Miami), 2022 2nd Round Pick
Thunder get: Patrick Beverley, Ivica Zubac, Luke Kennard
Kemba Walker was not effective at all with the Celtics. It was not because four-time All-Star isn’t that good anymore. Rather, it could be just a matter of fit. Both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown haven’t developed that knack for making plays for their teammates. This is an asset that both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have in their arsenal with the Clippers. In fact, Leonard averaged a career-high 5.2 assists last season. Interestingly, George also logged in 5.2 assists which is also his career-high.
Leonard gets his assists off the post or thru his drives to the hoop whenever the defense collapses on him. George, meanwhile, dishes off either thru mainly off his drives. He’s also very comfortable in leading the fastbreak. Leonard and George are the front and center of the Clippers’ offense. And they’ve been wise enough to integrate a passing game into their arsenal. Walker, a versatile scorer, can easily adjust himself into Tyronn Lue’s playbook.
Clippers fans might be shaking their heads upon seeing Patrick Beverley in the trade package. The veteran guard has been one of the key pillars of the team’s playoff runs over the past few seasons. However, it’s time to properly evaluate Beverley’s actual value to the team. His defense is top-notch. But his offense has remained lackluster which has forced Lue to bench him in some critical parts of the game. Of course, there are also questions on his lack of control of his emotions. There have been countless times where he’s gone overboard with his antics. Walker will not be an excellent defender like Beverley but he’ll be there where you need him. You can also rely on him to get those buckets and more importantly, he won’t be ejected. Walker will provide much more stability in the point guard spot.
Apart from Beverley, the presence of Ivica Zubac, too might be driving some Clippers fans crazy. He’s a good young big man with plenty of potential.
If you’ve watched the Clippers’ games closely, Zubac can be a massive liability on defense. He’s immobile and hasn’t developed the strength to match toe-to-toe with the big boys. Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton practically got whatever he wanted when Zubac was around. This forced Lue to take Zubac out.
23-year-old Isaiah Roby will provide that much-needed mobility in the paint. On offense, he’s pretty much a wizard: he has that beautiful stroke from anywhere and he also has a great set of handles. His defense needs a lot more refining. But this won’t be much of a problem as Roby’s inherent athleticism will jump-start his development.