The Los Angeles Clippers had a great regular season but suffered one of the biggest choke jobs in recent memory. Up 3-1 against the Denver Nuggets with a chance to face the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, they had multiple leads vanish in three straight games resulting in losses. We simply cannot remember a time when a team literally threw away a Western Conference Finals appearance for no apparent reason. What’s even worse is that the team was stacked with talent, including the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
With Doc Rivers out as the head coach and Tyronne Lue taking over, the Clippers should make moves to get to the NBA Finals this year. They still have Kawhi Leonard, but they can manage to add 2 more All-Stars by clearing the roster and using their trade assets. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can be a perfect duo in theory, but adding the likes of Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul and defensive center Rudy Gobert will essentially book their place in the NBA Finals this season.
Here is how the Clippers can create a Big 4 with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Chris Paul, and Rudy Gobert.
The Clippers Acquire Their Hall Of Fame Point Guard
Chris Paul is the greatest Los Angeles Clipper of all time. What he did for the franchise was special, because he single-handedly made them relevant in the Western Conference. For years, the Clippers were laughed at when compared to their rival Lakers, and for good reason. Terrible ownership but Chris Paul changed all that during the “Lob City” era. Under the tremendous ownership of Steve Balmer, the Clippers convinced Kawhi Leonard to join them and also traded for Paul George last year to make them relevant once again. Unfortunately, the Clippers couldn’t get the job done.
The Clippers once again need superstar point guard Chris Paul to save their franchise. He is one of the 5 best point guards in the NBA and made the All-NBA Third Team this season. Paul is exactly what the Clippers need in terms of playmaking and on-floor leadership. Patrick Beverley is more of a defensive pest than a playmaker, and Lou Williams is just a scoring machine off the bench. The Clippers lacked playmaking and that’s the main reason why they faltered in the Playoffs. Chris Paul will make the Clippers backcourt an amazing defensive unit, he will get Kawhi and George to their spots and will provide leadership which they sorely lacked in the Playoffs.
The Thunder will want to move on from Paul so acquiring a package around Ivica Zubac and Louis Williams might do the trick. The Thunder don’t need Paul’s massive contract eating into their space when they don’t want to be competing anyways, and Zubac gives them a long-term solution at center. Lou Williams and Beverley can either be moved again or kept to provide a balance of scoring and defense at the guard spot.
Trade Package: Patrick Beverley, Louis Williams, Ivica Zubac, Rodney McGruder, JaMychal Green for Chris Paul
Rudy Gobert Makes The Clippers The Best Defensive Team In History
With Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George; teams will have nightmares trying to score from the perimeter. But what about the post? Montrezl Harrell is an active big man who plays with tremendous aggression and energy, but he is undersized to be a dominant defensive player. Rudy Gobert, on the other hand, is a wall in the paint. He is the most dominant defensive center in the NBA because his long arms and shot-blocking ability make it tough to score against.
Gobert averaged 15.1 PPG, 13.5 RPG, and 2.0 BPG this season for the Utah Jazz who really should’ve progressed to the second round after leading 3-1 against the Denver Nuggets. The Jazz might need to move on from Gobert to keep franchise star Donovan Mitchell happy, so acquiring Montrezl Harrell and even sharpshooter Landry Shamet could be acceptable. Harrell will need to agree to a Sign and Trade with the Clippers whereby has a contract in place but will commit to the Jazz for a trade. The Jazz need an immediate replacement for Gobert if they do trade him, and Harrell gives them a better scorer to pair with Mitchell. The Jazz need to start making moves for good players, and a return of Harrell and Shamet could make them a better team.
Overall, the Clippers showed their vulnerabilities this season. They lacked team chemistry, floor leadership, and a dominant defensive big man. Chris Paul is one of the best leaders in NBA history who will tie everyone on the same page, and he will also be the primary ball-handler which relives a ton of pressure off of Leonard and George. Gobert could then make the Clippers the most dominant defensive unit in history as he shuts down the paint, while the other 3 stars shut down the perimeter. With 4 legitimate All-Stars and 2 former Defensive Player of the Year winners on the same squad, the Clippers should make and win the NBA Finals this upcoming season.
Trade Package: Montrezl Harrell (Sign and Trade), Landry Shamet for Rudy Gobert