The Los Angeles Clippers are the beneficiaries of helping broker a four-team trade involving Jimmy Butler. The Clippers landed Mo Harkless as they look to bolster their roster as part of their pitch to Kawhi Leonard, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Harkless and his $11 million expiring contract are headed to the Clippers in the deal, which is the reason the Clippers were able to extract the protected 2023 first-round pick.
The Clippers still hold the max salary space to sign free agent Kawhi Leonard, who they’re pursuing in the marketplace. For the Clippers, Harkless represents a starting level forward who can play with Leonard and provide depth behind him.
Here’s a look at the current Clippers roster and projected starting lineup. Keep in mind the roster will look differently once free agency is completed.
L.A. Clippers Roster & Projected Starting Lineup for 2019-20
C- Montrezl Harrell, Mfiondu Kabengele
PF- Danilo Gallinari
SF- Mo Harkless, Landry Shamet, Sindarius Thornwell,
SG- Lou Williams, Jerome Robinson, Terance Mann
PG- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Patrick Beverley, Tyrone Wallace
The Clippers are expected to have a meeting with Leonard, per ESPN. The team is believed to be competing with the Lakers and Raptors for the All-Star forward. Wojnarowski reported on The Woj Pod that how Leonard connects with Clippers head coach Doc Rivers will have a major impact on how much he considers the team.
Mo Harkless Is Already Recruiting Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers
Harkless wasted little time trying to recruit Leonard to the Clippers. The new L.A. forward took to Twitter to ask for Leonard’s number.
“Anybody got kawhi number??” Harkless tweeted after the trade.
Lou Williams is also doing his best to recruit the All-Star to come to L.A. Williams is trying to sell Leonard on coming back home to California.
“Sun’s out, it ain’t cold like it is in Toronto. He got his ring … come holla at us!!” Williams told TMZ. “Obviously, he’s already a California kid, anyway. The love is already there. He’s got an opportunity to do something special, he already has a legacy, already a big time baller in his own right. So, for him to have an opportunity to do his thing in the state of California should be dope for him.”
Trading for Harkless is the second major move the Clippers have made since free agency started. L.A. also brought back their tough-minded point guard who took to Twitter to celebrate.
“From the Mud. God is REAL,” Beverley tweeted. “To whatever young kid who wants to LISTEN. Be a star and whatever role your in. And accept it and take it serious. And be great in your role. IT COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE. #mr94feet.”