The LA Clippers are not playing championship-level basketball this season. Although they are in third place in the Western Conference standings, the Clippers–led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George–have been very inconsistent and still don’t have that killer instinct it takes to win a title.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are great scorers, but they aren’t floor generals who can set up the Clippers’ offense and put teammates in positions to succeed. LA desperately needs a point guard, and the franchise may be interested in making a desperate move to get one.
The Clippers can’t win a ring with Patrick Beverley or Reggie Jackson at point guard
The Clippers won’t win a championship if Reggie Jackson or Patrick Beverley starts at point guard in the playoffs.
Beverley is a good defender and spot-up shooter, but he can’t score off the dribble or finish in heavy traffic. Meanwhile, Jackson is erratic and doesn’t make the best decisions with the ball in his hands.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George need a pass-first point guard setting them up with easy looks and organizing the half-court offense when the game slows down in the playoffs. One of the main reasons the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 2020 playoffs is the club didn’t have a point guard to orchestrate the offense and settle things down when the Nuggets went on their runs in Games 5-7.
The NBA trade deadline is coming up, and everyone in the league knows the Clippers will be trying to acquire a point guard for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. What Leonard and George didn’t expect, though, is that they may have to deal with LaVar Ball, one of the most outspoken people in sports.
Clippers pursuing trade for Lonzo Ball
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Clippers are exploring a trade for New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball. If LA acquires Ball, the franchise will have to deal with LaVar Ball.
LaVar had been quiet this season until a few days ago when he said he hopes the Pelicans trade Lonzo. Any team trading for Lonzo knows it will have to deal with LaVar and his crazy quotes. That can be a turn-off for many teams, especially since LaVar is never afraid to go after star players such as LeBron James and Stephen Curry.
On the basketball court, Lonzo makes a lot of sense for the Clippers. He’s an excellent defender and passer and has really improved his offensive game. The former No. 2 overall pick is averaging 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.6 assists on the season while shooting 42.5% from the field, 38.5% from beyond the arc, and 76.7% from the free-throw line.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George would benefit from playing with Lonzo Ball since the former UCLA Bruin sees the floor well and would help the Clippers forwards get easy baskets in the postseason. However, the LaVar Ball factor is real, especially since he would be back in LA, where Lonzo’s NBA career began.
The pressure is on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George choked against the Nuggets in the 2020 playoffs. Neither All-Star scored a point in the fourth quarter of Game 7, and George embarrassed himself by hitting the side of the backboard on a wide-open 3-point attempt.
If the Clippers don’t at least get to the Western Conference Finals this season, Leonard and George will once again be the butt of jokes on NBA Twitter. Lonzo Ball isn’t a star player, but he could be the missing piece for the Clippers, no matter how annoying LaVar Ball can be.