With some expecting the LA Clippers to be active in the sign-and-trade market, we look at a few teams that they could talk to this offseason.
On his podcast with Bobby Marks and Ohm Youngmisuk, Brian Windhorst said that he expects the LA Clippers to be active in the sign-and-trade market, and he didn’t get any disagreement from the other two.
We talked about some of the restrictions a team faces if they engage in a sign-and-trade in our cap piece earlier. The gist of it is, we’ll be hard capped if we receive a player in a sign-and-trade. We don’t have exact cap figures right now, but that would mean that we’d only have ~$20 Million of space under that hard cap. It’s unlikely that we’ll be receiving any players while also keeping Montrezl Harrell and Marcus Morris.
Speaking of Trezz, that’s probably the player to whom the podcasters were referring. While it’s possible that the Clippers could try to sign-and-trade Marcus Morris, JaMychal Green or Reggie Jackson, they probably don’t have nearly the value on the market that Trezz does.
What that means practically is that we’re probably sellers in the sign-and-trade market, not buyers. Probably, but not certainly. Let’s take a look at three teams that the Clippers could partner up with in a sign-and-trade this offseason.
1) LA Clippers S&T Partner: Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are a team that could allow the LA Clippers to be buyers in a sign-and-trade, via a double S&T. There are two options that immediately jump to mind, one more likely than the other. Let’s look at the more likely one first:
Serge Ibaka (via sign-and-trade)
Montrezl Harrell (via sign-and-trade)
This trade feels like it could make a lot of sense. Two backup bigs switch teams; the Raptors get a younger player who could develop into something more, and the Clippers get the older player who can help them win now. If Toronto thinks highly of Trezz, this could be a good opportunity.
Financially, if both guys agree to it, Serge Ibaka and Trezz could sign very similar contracts – I don’t have a great feel for what kind of money these two are going to want, but if they both agreed to something in the range of 3 years, $36-40 Million, that feels pretty fair, and it gets Ibaka on the Clippers on a dollar amount higher than the Mid-Level Exception.
I think the Clippers happily do this. They get a big who can play defense and stretch the floor on offense for his age 31-34 seasons. Do the Raptors?
That depends a lot of Fred VanVleet. If he re-signs with the Raptors on a big contract, then they certainly do not do this. They’ve got designs on Giannis in the next offseason, and having Fred on a big contract along with Trezz on a $12-15 Million contract makes that a lot tougher. Not impossible, but tougher.
That said, if VanVleet leaves, then Toronto has more flexibility in doing something like this while still being able to keep the Giannis space open. Which brings me to another possibility
Fred VanVleet (via sign-and-trade)
Montrezl Harrell (via sign-and-trade)
Throw in a second round pick or two, depending on how these teams value those.
Remember, this is a sign-and-trade, not just a straight up trade. If this trade got offered at the deadline last year, it doesn’t happen. This is contingent on VanVleet wanting to come to the Clippers and the Raptors being willing to work on an S&T to make it work.
There’s a reason the other one was the more likely one.
But, if Fred makes it clear that he’s walking, the Raptors could see this as an opportunity to get something back for him instead of just losing him.
This is another trade that I think the Clippers do in a heartbeat. Rumors are swirling that Kawhi Leonard is pushing to acquire a point guard, and this would get probably the best one available.
On the Raptors end, it would require Fred to have made it obvious he’s leaving, and it depends on how they view Trezz. If they view him positively, this could make sense. And in the reverse of last trade, this trade assumes that Ibaka is leaving, which is also not a given.
Lou and Trezz are an offense unto themselves in the regular season and could give Pascal Siakam a rest from the scoring load. And Lou is an expiring, so his money won’t be a factor come the Giannis offseason. The fact that they’re such an offensive force, will likely be a package of around $20 Million and Lou’s an expiring make them an attractive trade piece that we’ll see throughout this article.