The Los Angeles Clippers are a contender that didn’t make any acquisitions in the offseason aside from the acquisition of Serge Ibaka. While Serge Ibaka gives them an elite starter at center, the roster is mostly the same roster from last season, with a notable departure in Montrezl Harrell. The Los Angeles Clippers are currently 3rd in the Western Conference, but it is clear that their roster is missing a few pieces to compete with a team like the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs. To improve, they could pursue a trade.
Lonzo Ball could be a solid target for the Los Angeles Clippers. Lonzo Ball is a versatile point guard who can facilitate well for his teammates and could be a solid fit on a team with dominant scorers. Lonzo Ball has shown signs of being able to run an offense when he gets to handle the ball, and those flashes could be enough to intrigue the Clippers. A package would have to be focused on Patrick Beverley due to salary reasons.
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: Lonzo Ball
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Patrick Beverley
New Orleans Pelicans Gain An Experienced Defender
With this trade, the New Orleans Pelicans would trade Lonzo Ball’s expiring contract for a solid defender who is locked to a contract until 2021-22. Trading Ball before he hits free agency could be the move for the Pelicans if they don’t believe in Ball’s ability. Lonzo Ball would surely command a large deal as a young player at the end of his rookie contract, and the Pelicans could go with another player who would bring experience to their youthful team, while not being a high usage player. Patrick Beverley would be a player that wouldn’t take playmaking duties away from Brandon Ingram while playing good defense and spacing the floor.
Patrick Beverley’s type of leadership is something that the New Orleans Pelicans need. Their roster is a very young roster, and a leader like Beverley could set the tone in the locker room. A lot of times, NBA stars credit a veteran from their younger days with helping their development. Patrick Beverley is known for his mindset of hard work and determination: he has had to work up from playing overseas to eventually being a starter on an NBA team. By trading Lonzo Ball for Patrick Beverley, the Pelicans would hope that some of that grittiness rubs off on their young stars. Patrick Beverley would also be an active communicator on the defensive end and could help shore up their perimeter defense.
The Los Angeles Clippers Land An All-Around Point Guard
The Los Angeles Clippers need a point guard who can run the offense. While Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are able to make plays for their teammates, they are more suited to wreak havoc on the opposition’s defense with their scoring. During the 2019-20 season, Lonzo Ball averaged 7.0 APG, and he could easily take some of the playmaking duties off of the shoulders of the Clippers superstars. Trading Patrick Beverley for Lonzo Ball could be a good move for the Clippers due to Ball’s more varied skillset but also Ball’s relaxed demeanor: he would fit perfectly with quiet assassins like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Lonzo Ball coming back to Los Angeles would be extremely interesting. Most people know that he formerly played for the Los Angeles Lakers, and perhaps on the Los Angeles Clippers he could prove that he can play under the brightest light in Los Angeles. What sweeter way to do it than by beating his former franchise? Lonzo Ball has a lot of motivation to succeed in Los Angeles, and the Clippers could offer him that opportunity. Ball could show everyone that he isn’t just a prospect anymore, but an elite player with a lot of useful skills for a roster.
This trade seems beneficial for both sides in terms of fit. Patrick Beverley would bring his fiery defense and leadership to the New Orleans Pelicans, while Ball would bring an all-around influence on the game as a switchable point guard who can also shoot.