The Los Angeles Clippers (16-12) are fresh from a 111-95 win over the Phoenix Suns on December 13.
It was L.A.’s fourth win in a row, and the team did it without Paul George, who has been nursing an elbow injury. Center Ivica Zubac hit double figures in two of the Clips’ most recent four wins, but some analysts think trading Zubac in exchange for a veteran big man would be advantageous next step for the team.
Zubac is averaging 10.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 25.0 minutes so far this season, and reserve center Isaiah Hartenstein has been impressive in limited time, scoring 7.4 points while hauling in 4.7 rebounds in 16.0 minutes a game. One analyst thinks Ty Lue and company should send Zubac and three-point ace Luke Kennard off to Indiana in exchange for Myles Turner and additional players.
‘Sensible’ Trade Proposal Floated Would Send Myles Turner to L.A.
Currently in fifth place in the Western Conference, the Clippers have been up and down all season. They had a seven-game winning streak before losing seven of 10, and now, they’ve won four straight. In a trade proposal from SB Nation,
- Clippers receive: Myles Turner, T.J. McConnell (or Justin Holiday)
- Pacers receive: Luke Kennard, Ivica Zubac, 2022 2nd round pick, 2024 2nd round pick
While Zubac’s output with the Clippers has been steady, it’s not something that can put them over the top. With the Pacers, Zubac would immediately become one of the league’s most powerful, valuable reserves, called upon to replace Domantas Sabonis as a sixth-man center, and likely playing his way to a massive contract elsewhere (or extension, should he wish to stay in Indiana in this hypothetical scenario) in the process. Not to mention, the Pacers seem far more eager to build around Sabonis than they do his current counterpart, who lands with the Clippers in this particular scenario. … If the Pacers are game to start over, they’ll want picks that guarantee them an opportunity to do that as soon as possible. Los Angeles isn’t exactly the trade partner that offers that, but on the talent front, their swaps might just be enough to offset the draft discrepancy,”
Turner has led the league in blocked shots two of the last three seasons. He’s currently averaging 12.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and an NBA-best 2.8 blocked shots while playing 29.6 minutes per game. There’s little doubt he’d be a solid addition — but as
Should Clips Part Ways With Zubac & Kennard?
McConnell is averaging 8.4 points a game, while Holiday is scoring 9.9. They’re both solid role-players, but if McConnell were to be a trade chip, he wouldn’t be able to contribute until next year.
“McConnell can’t be traded until March 3 because he re-signed using Bird rights with a 20% raise in salary, and the Pacers are over the cap,”
“So, this becomes a trade that has to wait to be made until the offseason, unless the Clippers are cool with Justin Holiday being a piece in the trade instead of McConnell. But McConnell, who, on defense, is basically Patrick Beverley after three steps of Pokémon-like evolution, is slightly more attractive as an addition. He’s a win-now player, as is Turner, and though Holiday is a capable piece for a contender, I personally don’t believe he has as much upside as his recently-signed teammate.”
But would Los Angeles really want to part with two of its most promising young players? Zubac is still just 24, and while Turner is arguably a top 10 center in the NBA, Zubac may just now be coming into his own, and the same can be said for Kennard, who is shooting a career-high 45.6% from downtown this year. Both have been integral to the Clips’ recent success, and both seem to be ascending. Turner is an intriguing player to be sure, but the Clippers may want to keep the crew they already have intact, particularly if they continue to play well.