The Clippers will be looking for an upgrade and NBA trade rumors say Kawhi Leonard is encouraging them to trade for a former teammate of his.
According to Matt Moore of Action Network, Kawhi Leonard has it made clear to Clippers management that he wants an upgrade at guard. Specifically, he wants one of his old teammates — either Kyle Lowry or Fred VanVleet.
Leonard was recovering from an ACL injury last season and missed the entire season. He has been missing games at times this season due to treatment and load management for the same injury. Paul George hasn’t had a clean bill of health this season either, missing 17 games already due to various injuries.
The only other consistent besides Leonard and George missing games has been poor point guard play. The Clippers have consistently struggled to find someone who can create offense for others.
NBA trade rumors about John Wall or Reggie Jackson moving have been persistent for a while. The Clippers don’t really have any first-round draft picks to trade (only 2027 and 2029 first-rounders available) so they can upgrade their guard spot, but they do so by including some young players like Terrance Mann or Brandon Boston. Additionally, they could trade one of their wings in any deal for a guard, someone like Nicolas Batum or Marcus Morris.
If the Clippers do trade for an upgrade at point guard, the most realistic offer may be is Wall/Jackson, Mann, and second-round picks. VanVleet is probably unreachable unless you offer those two first-round picks. The Clippers likely won’t do that, as they have better options that fit with them long-term (while still getting an upgrade). Lowry is a lot more reachable but matching his salary may be a problem.
Check out The Step Back for more news, analysis, opinion and unique basketball coverage. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to our daily email newsletter, The Whiteboard.