The Clippers catapulted themselves to one of the best teams in the NBA after the signings of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Clippers are capable of surrounding these two stars with valuable role-players who can defend, make open shots, and play within a winning system led by Doc Rivers.
However, to firmly grasp the Western Conference throne, the Clippers might be one more piece away from forming a very powerful superteam. In order to make this happen, the Clippers might consider a blockbuster trade to bring Steven Adams to fortify the frontcourt. Adding another big name to a Clippers lineup could provide some distance between the Clippers and their Western Conference Finals.
How the Clippers make this happen?
The Clippers would obviously have to offer young players and draft picks to OKC to convince Sam Presti that the deal benefits them enough.
The Clippers would have to part ways with two valuable young pieces, Jerome Robinson and Ivica Zubac, along with a first-round draft pick and the expiring contract of Mo Harkless in order to match the salaries. The Clippers would then receive Steven Adams in a potential blockbuster trade.
The Clippers would have to wait until December 15th to make this trade happen, since Harkless recently joined the Clippers this offseason.
What about OKC?
For OKC, they would have an opportunity to continue their rebuild with valuable young pieces and a first-round draft pick. Zubac is a developing big man, who has shown flashes of dominance with a solid back-to-the-basket game. Zubac is an old-school big man, but can still operate in today’s NBA thanks to his decent athletic ability.
Jerome Robinson can develop into an effective wing player in a league where teams are constantly in search for these types of players. OKC could certainly welcome these two players, as they can join their young player cast including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
The expiring contract of Harkless fits well, as the Thunder can free up some cap space for more player movement next season. The first-round pick will further add to the collection of picks that GM Sam Presti collected this Offseason.
How will Adams impact the Clippers lineup?
The Clippers have an excellent defensive team spearheaded by George, Leonard, and Patrick Beverley. Bringing in Steven Adams would make them the best defensive team in the league by some miles. In fact, this lineup would be one of the greatest defensive teams in NBA history. As the saying goes, defense wins championships. And the Clippers could be on their way to a potential NBA Finals berth with this trade.
Adams is a terrific defensive big man, who is mobile enough to provide help-defense in the paint and sometimes switch out to guards. Besides an obvious impact defensively, Adams also has a very soft touch around the basket. He thrived in OKC with Russel Westbrook playing the pick-n-roll and showed a very smooth floater within 15 feet of the basket. Adams moves well and can finish at the rim with force.
At the same time, Adams could be a massive influence for the Clippers frontcourt against the LA Lakers. Matching up with Davis, Cousins, and even McGee can prove to be a challenge for even the best teams in the league. Adams gives you the big body that can bang with those bigs, and have an immediate impact offensively and defensively.