With just two days before the NBA’s trading deadline and the Clippers holding limited assets, one player who has long intrigued teams around the league is playing the best basketball of his career at just the right time—second-year wing Terance Mann.
For the second consecutive game, Mann established a career-high in scoring, notching 21 points in the Clippers’ thrilling come-from-behind win over the Hawks. Mann, who was at the center of the action as L.A. erased a 22-point third-quarter deficit, also had a career-high 10 rebounds and shot 8-for-14 from the floor.
Mann was nonchalant after the game in talking about his willingness to attack the rim inside (all but one of his field goals came in the restricted area) and facilitate for teammates when necessary.
“I don’t know, just playing my game, reading what I see,” he told reporters. “If the low man comes all the way in, I am going to kick it, if he is playing both, I am going to keep it and finish. We work on it a lot in practice. I get a lot of reps in, that’s just really what it is—a lot of reps at doing exactly what I did today. Believe it or not, we get a lot of reps.”
Mann Could be Significant in Clippers Trade Talks
It was obvious on Monday night that the Clippers’ second unit badly needed Mann, but he could still wind up being a central figure at Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. Several teams have asked about Mann, both last year and this year, and the Clippers have thus far held onto him. He was a second-rounder in the 2019 draft but impressed coaches with his strength and basketball IQ.
The Clippers traded Mfiondu Kabengele to the Kings on Monday to clear out some wiggle room under the luxury-tax apron, but sources said that Sacramento originally asked for Mann. That was a no-go.
But if the Clippers are intent on making a major move at the deadline, eyeing an upgrade at point guard, it could cost them Mann.
The Clippers do not have a first-round pick available to trade, because of the deal with Oklahoma City in which L.A. mortgaged its future picks to obtain Paul George. The team would like to make a deal for a veteran like Oklahoma City’s George Hill or Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio, giving up only a pair of veterans and maybe two future second-round picks. That is possible.
Mann is in demand, though, especially if the Clippers want to make a more significant deal, like for New Orleans point guard Lonzo Ball.
“I don’t think they’re looking to trade him,” one source told Heavy.com. “But I think they know when they get into some of the talks on higher-end guys, teams are going to ask for Mann. Everyone wants a first-round pick, but this kid is better than a lot of first-round picks from his class.”
Terance Mann is 24 & on a Team-Friendly Contract
Mann did play four years at Florida State, so he is already 24. Many teams would rather take their chances on a 20-year-old after one year of college. But he is on a very team-friendly contract, scheduled to make $3.6 million combined over the next two seasons.
He was also a teammate of Kabengele at FSU, and the two entered the NBA together, so there was a bittersweet aspect to Monday.
“Try to stay even-keeled, right in the middle, don’t get too high, don’t get too low,” Mann said. “Shout out to ‘Fi, he was a great teammate that I’ve been with for like the last five years. I’m going to miss him. I can’t wait to see what his future holds.”
Mann’s future could be interesting, too—especially if he remains in trade talks in the next two days.