The LA Clippers are one of the best teams in the NBA right now and also one of the championship favorites. Regardless of their incredible quality, they have shown plenty of flaws that need to be ironed out going into next season, irrespective of whether they win the title this year or not. Many NBA trade rumors have hinted towards the arrival of a third star at the Clippers to pair up with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
One position that is of utmost concern for the LA Clippers is that of the center. 23-year-old Ivica Zubac has done a good job.
However, it's still early days in the career of the 7'0" Croatian, and he isn't an extremely reliable option at this moment in time. Moreover, reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Montrezl Harrell, will be testing the NBA free agency this off-season and might not return to the LA Clippers.
A star center could be precisely what the LA Clippers need to reach their full potential as a team, and all trade options that could bring one in should be evaluated.
NBA Trade Rumors: Steven Adams is there for the taking if the LA Clippers want him
The LA Clippers have a well-rounded roster with players that complement each other. Their present center rotation, as discussed above, features young Ivica Zubac and 26-year-old Montrezl Harrell. The two have shared the minutes at center between them, with Harrell playing around 27 minutes a night, while Zubac got 18.
With the 6'8" center out of contract this off-season and determined to secure the bag after enjoying the best year of his career, the LA Clippers would undoubtedly be short of options at the 5.
Expecting Ivica Zubac to suddenly up his minutes to close to 30 a night would be too big an ask. The presence of Harrell was vital to the LA Clippers having the best bench in the NBA, and his loss would be a significant one.
Most top quality centers are dear to their respective franchises and would be difficult to acquire. However, the Oklahoma City Thunder should be willing to part with theirs.
Steven Adams' career statistics
Career points per game - 9.8
Career assists per game - 1.2
Career rebounds per game - 7.6
Career field goal % - 58.9%
Career 3pt % - NA
The Oklahoma City Thunder have made it clear that they want to rebuild for the future and will be listening to offers for all of their established players - including Steven Adams.
Adams has only one year left on his current contract, which sees him earn in the region of $27 million per season. Needless to say, OKC general manager Sam Presti would be willing to let Steven Adams walk for a modest fee, instead of taking the risk of losing him for nothing.
Adams played 26 minutes per game this season, scoring just 10 points, as the team decided to focus on the younger players. Adams has shown that he can be a center who puts up 15 points and 10 rebounds every game with excellent interior defense. The LA Clippers will be hoping that he can achieve the same should they sign him.
NBA Trade Rumors: LA Clippers will have to part ways with Patrick Beverley to get Steven Adams
The LA Clippers would need to send Ivica Zubac and young shooting guard Landry Shamet the other way, while Patrick Beverley's departure would balance the salary cap. Losing a defensive expert like Beverley would be tough for the Clippers, but they will be able to guard the paint better with Adams in their ranks.
The Oklahoma City Thunder would receive two exciting young prospects to work with, and can include Beverley in another trade, or even keep him around.
Published 15 Sep 2020, 05:00 IST