The Los Angeles Lakers just made every Los Angeles Clippers fan salty with the massive signing of Montrezl Harrell in Free Agency. The 6th Man of the Year winner averaged 18.6 PPG and 7.1 RPG last season for the Clippers, as one of their top-3 players on the team. Without Harrell, the Clippers are certainly weaker especially while their rivals Lakers looking primed and ready for their second straight NBA title.
That doesn’t mean the Clippers should just allow their rivals to steal their thunder. The Clippers can exact revenge and steal some key role players from the Lakers and improve their own standing in the West. By stealing Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and DeMarcus Cousins from the Lakers; here is how the Clippers can get their revenge and make the Lakers’ depth much more suspect.
3. Rajon Rondo
2019/2020 Season Statistics: 7.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 5.0 APG, 32.8% 3-pt FG
Rajon Rondo was decent as a backup point guard for the Lakers during the regular season, with averages of 7.1 PPG and 5.0 APG. Rondo could always be trusted to handle the ball when LeBron was resting. But Rondo’s true value came during the playoffs, where Playoff Rondo was born. Playoff Rondo was unbelievable for the Lakers, and he was the third star that they needed behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Even with the signings of Dennis Schroder, Rondo’s veteran leadership in the locker room and exceptional skills as a playmaker will be needed. The Clippers can snatch him away from the Lakers to lead their own squad as they desperately need a playmaker of Rondo’s caliber. The Clippers faltered in the Playoffs last season, so having a Playoff performer like Rondo can help make sure that doesn’t happen again. Rondo is seemingly interested in a Clippers journey, so this revenge could happen.
2. Avery Bradley
2019/2020 Season Statistics: 8.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 36.4% 3-pt FG
Avery Bradley was not in “The Bubble” for the Lakers as he opted to stay at home for his family during the Covid-19 pandemic. Bradley’s defense and shooting were missed although the Lakers managed to find a way to make up for it due to Rajon Rondo’s sensational play. Bradley is one of the best 2-way guards in the NBA in terms of playing his role and doing all the little things. The Lakers could certainly use him next season because they need defense to complement Dennis Schroder.
If the Clippers can snatch Bradley away from the Lakers, they are adding another dog who competes on both ends of the floor. A lineup with Beverley, Bradley, George, and Kawhi will be a nightmare to score against. Bradley won’t come in and be an All-Star, but he will certainly make the Lakers weaker if he does leave. Avery Bradley is expected to be moved via a sign and trade elsewhere, so the Clippers must match his salary which they will certainly be interested in doing.
1. DeMarcus Cousins
2018-2019 Season Statistics: 16.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.5 BPG
DeMarcus Cousins is very close to returning from his unfortunate ACL tear which kept him out of the entire season in 2020. When healthy, Cousins is one of the best centers in the NBA because he can do it all on the floor. As evidenced by his stats during the 2019 season, Cousins affects the game on both ends as a skilled and physically imposing big man. With the loss of Dwight Howard to the 76ers, the Lakers could use Cousins’ size and ability around the rim.
Not if the Clippers can help it. The Clippers lost Montrezl Harrell, who is a star, but they can acquire DeMarcus Cousins with the hopes that he gets back to his best as much as possible. Cousins can start or backup another center, giving the Clippers a legitimate threat on both ends. Cousins will likely accept any offer to play for a title contender like the Clippers, so the team could clamp him up at a veteran’s minimum contract.