The Los Angeles Clippers just went down 2-0 to the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. If the Clips continue their postseason woes, it’s safe to say they’ll be looking at making a few more roster changes this offseason. And one target could be a guy who had frequently been linked to the Lakers in months past.
Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report put together a list of “realistic” trade proposals for every team in the NBA with the aim of bettering each squad while also remaining “grounded in reality.” When it came time to add and subtract a star player or two to the Clippers’ squad, Swartz had quite an interesting pitch.
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Clippers Land DeMar DeRozan in Latest Trade Proposal
Big man Ivica Zubac has worked his way into a starting role for Los Angeles in recent months while filling in for an injured Serge Ibaka. In Swartz’s trade proposal, the Clips would send the promising young center off to San Antonio in exchange for Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan.
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: F DeMar DeRozan (via sign-and-trade)
San Antonio Spurs Receive: C Ivica Zubac, SG Luke Kennard
A former first-round pick for Toronto, DeRozan currently leads the Spurs in scoring, averaging 21.6 points a game. The 24-year-old Zubac has been a durable presence for the Clips, and is scoring 9.0 points a game while hauling in 7.2 boards per contest. Swartz thinks a DeRozan-for Zubac swap would benefit both teams, and he also thinks DeRozan would be amenable to going from shouldering the load down in Texas to being the No. 3 in Los Angeles behind Kawhi Leonard and Paul George:
DeRozan should be fine with becoming a third scoring option on a team with championship aspirations, especially if it means returning home. A lineup of Rajon Rondo, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, DeRozan and Serge Ibaka is loaded with postseason experience and could be considered title favorites. If DeRozan is planning to leave the Spurs in free agency anyway, San Antonio must find a way to get something of value in return. Zubac, 24, is good enough to start at center for the Spurs and Kennard (44.6 percent shooting from three this season) helps keep the floor spread for everyone. Zubac and Kennard’s salaries add up to roughly $20 million, a good starting point for DeRozan’s next contract.
DeRozan Taking ‘Wide Open’ Approach to Free Agency
In an April 7 report courtesy of Sam Amick and John Hollinger of The Athletic, it was revealed DeRozan may be looking to explore his options with other teams sooner rather than later.
“A source with knowledge of DeRozan’s outlook said he’ll be taking a ‘wide open’ approach to free agency in terms of possible landing spots. … In this point guard-heavy free agency class, he’s the best wing player available outside of Leonard,” Amick and Hollinger reported.
Would it be worth parting ways with your promising young center to bring a third big-time scoring threat? That’s impossible to tell. But if the Clippers continue their postseason slide and exit the playoffs early, you can bet they’ll be looking to add another x-factor this offseason. Whether that will be DeRozan or someone else remains to be seen.