You may have heard these transfer offers on our traditional Tuesday night Late Show (11pm on our Twitch channel). The thought of putting them down on paper today, except for the sound that was cut off repeatedly. Let’s move on to 3 transfers that could change the fate of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Fred VanVleet reunites with Kawhi Leonard
It’s interesting because his name and Kyle Lowry’s name were recently attached to the California franchise. Rationale: The Clips need a point guard or a point guard who can play more pick-and-rolls. When looking at the list, the general idea is that there should be a manager. But I’m not even sure the real problem is the actual game organizer. The ball will go through Kawhi Leonard and Paul George anyway. The Boston Celtics have no real point guard and have the best offense in the NBA.
On the other hand, we need this third blade. That third guy is able to hit ball after ball and create differences, create mismatches. This is where Fred VanVleet has the perfect profile. The former undrafted player who won a championship with the Toronto Raptors (and with Leonard) in 2019 has risen through the ranks and today finds himself in a role that doesn’t stick to his skin. This is neither the first nor the second option. Rather, a great third or fourth man in a formation like the one in Los Angeles.
He’s too ripped, not athletic enough, and perhaps not strong enough to claim more. That’s good, he wouldn’t put as much pressure on the Clippers. It is not so necessary to perform night after night. As long as he shines in 4 out of 7 matches in each series. It’s also good insurance in case of a temporary breakdown from PG or Leonard: it potentially gives you a better chance to have two All-Stars at the same time every night and therefore seek home-court advantage at the end of the regular season.
The Raptors will likely be cleared in the coming days. Barring a spectacular offer, it’s unlikely they’ll part with Pascal Siakam and/or OG Anunoby. On the other hand, the departures of Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet, both options for next season, are more plausible.
FVV is a nearly 20-point-per-game player, but that doesn’t mean Toronto will demand that many assets in return. Given the nature of the market, it’s even possible that a franchise will accept an offer that doesn’t include a first-round pick. This is the Clippers’ only chance. If the tender goes up and the franchise offers a pick, even a protected one, he won’t go to L.A. And Angelenos really don’t have much draft stock.
They should try to sell attractive contracts that will serve as future assets for the Raptors and youngsters. Masai Ujiri will push for Ivica Zubac. He is a player the Clippers should not sacrifice. All others may be included as requested by Canadian leaders. Even Terence Mann.
The 26-year-old hasn’t had the development expected since his playoff berth two years ago, but he’s still an athletic and young enough point guard that could intrigue the Raptors front office. If Toronto prefers Amir Coffey or BJ Boston, they will be included in the deal. Luke Kennard doesn’t have much exciting potential, but his multi-season deal makes him a future asset in a move coming in a few months.
LA gets: Fred VanVleet
Toronto is recovering: Luke Kennard, John Wall, Terance Mann, two second rounders.
Chris Paul is reuniting with the Los Angeles Clippers
It would be a great story. The Phoenix Suns are rumored to be considering life without Chris Paul. It can be understood there. The veteran is feeling the pinch physically and his production is down this season. He has two years left on his contract. Except the draft window closes, and the Arizona franchise would prefer a quick transition, freeing up cap space before going big to cover Devin Booker.
CP3 may no longer bring many assets, but the idea for the Suns is to stay competitive by freeing up salary. Reggie Jackson’s expiring contract could interest them. He is weaker than Paul. But Phoenix will not be able to win the title this season anyway. The goal is to look good once again and then sell a project to free stars on the market.
LA gets: Chris Paul
Phoenix heals: Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, Amir Coffey, second round.
Evan Fournier free!
Evan Fournier is stuck with the New York Knicks. And the Manhattan franchise does not want to add an option to his contract to part with him. Except that it devalues the Frenchman by not forcing him to play. It’s a shame, because the latter could really help a few teams in the NBA. He just needs a more suitable role. Either that of a second playmaker — but he’s perhaps too fair on a team aiming for anything other than the second round of the playoffs, no offense — or a very talented sixth man off the bench.
The Clippers need a shot. If VanVleet and Lowry (or Paul) fall short in their goals, they will at least have to bring a real threat to their bench. Even if it means sacrificing other good complementary players. For example, Luke Kennard might interest the Knicks. Because unlike Fournier, he’s a true shooter. Although he is not good at defense, he will be able to find his place in the rotation more easily due to his specialty.
LA gets: Evan Fournier
New York is recovering: Luke Kennard