The Los Angeles Clippers are already a good team who has aspirations to win a title. However, if the playoffs don’t go well for them, then they could elect to make some changes to the roster during the offseason. While they still have a great team with two superstars in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, more talent would always be welcome.
Recently, Bleacher Report writer Greg Swartz came out with an article that detailed a possible three-team trade that the Los Angeles Clippers could try to put together in order to land Russell Westbrook. Swartz suggested that “Taking a gamble on Westbrook will largely depend on how the Clippers fare in the playoffs”. It would make sense that if the Clippers fall short of a championship, then perhaps they could try to gain an edge in star power to the rest of the league by adding a former MVP. This is the trade package that Swartz came up with.
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: Russell Westbrook, 2023 second-round pick (via Boston Celtics), 2024 second-round pick (via Boston Celtics)
Washington Wizards Receive: Luke Kennard, Patrick Beverley, Daniel Oturu, 2021 second-round pick (via Brooklyn Nets)
Charlotte Hornets Receive: Ivica Zubac
This three-team deal would move a lot of players, but it does seem like it would fit the unique needs of each team. The Charlotte Hornets would get a young center, the Washington Wizards get a big trade package for a star, and the Clippers get to create their own big three. Here is what the article had to say about the appeal of the trade for each team.
Taking a gamble on Westbrook will largely depend on how the Clippers fare in the playoffs.
Westbrook is far from a perfect player, and his salary is significant ($44.2 million in 2021-22, $47.1 million player option in 2022-23), but the Clippers are severely limited in ways they can add talent. The nine-time All-Star and Los Angeles area native has actually played much better as of late for the Washington Wizards, averaging 24.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, 12.5 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 44.8 percent overall and 37.0 percent from three over his last 15 games.
A Big Three of Leonard, George and Westbrook would become arguably the best outside of Brooklyn and still have Serge Ibaka, Marcus Morris and Rajon Rondo in the rotation. For taking on Westbrook’s contract, the Clippers receive a pair of second-round picks as well.
For Washington, even a backcourt of Westbrook and Bradley Beal hasn’t led to winning this season (17-31 record, 12th in the East), so this move is about getting off the veteran point guard’s contract while taking back some usable rotation pieces and a modest pick. Beverley would be a good fit next to Beal, and Kennard, 24, is hitting 47.1 percent of his threes this season.
With young centers Daniel Gafford and Thomas Bryant already on the roster for next season, the Wizards reroute Zubac to Charlotte, a move that helps clear $17.1 million in salary off the books overall.
The Hornets can lose both Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo in free agency, and Zubac gives them a good, young starting center on a terrific contract.
The Los Angeles Clippers could get an elite superstar, while still retaining some of their elite role players. They could potentially put 3 superstars on the same team, and give Westbrook a real opportunity to win a championship. Russell Westbrook would bring another dimension to the Clippers’ offense with his elite playmaking and scoring ability. While we won’t find out whether any trades happen until the offseason, it does seem like this trade would benefit everyone involved.