Clippers Could Make Massive Trade For Raptors’ Fred VanVleet

LA Clippers, Fred VanVleet, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The LA Clippers have had a rocky 2022-23 NBA season. As we hit the midpoint, they are 23-23, playing well under expectations for a team that many expected to be among the contending ranks.

A big reason that they are struggling to build any momentum is injuries. Head coach Tyronn Lue is constantly needing to shuffle the rotation as he doesn’t know who is going to be available on any given night. He has already had 16 different starting lineups and most damaging is the fact that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have started only 15 games together, playing 349 minutes.

Getting them healthy should be the No. 1 concern for Los Angeles because when they are on the court, the team is dominant. They are +60 in those 349 minutes, which is about 14.1 points better than their opponent per game with Leonard and George on the court together.

When healthy, this group should be good enough to challenge for the Larry O’Brien trophy. That likely makes them buyers ahead of the deadline as ownership has shown that they are willing to pay a premium for a winning roster.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors & LA Clippers Updates

If the Clippers are going to dive deeper into the luxury tax, the two holes they have to fill are point guard and center. Ivica Zubac is the only big man currently on the roster, and the trio of Reggie Jackson, John Wall, and Terance Mann at point guard has left a lot to be desired.

Over at ESPN, a trade was cooked up that would help upgrade those weaknesses for Los Angeles. Jason Preston, Brandon Boston Jr., Robert Covington, Amir Coffey, a top-five protected 2028 first-round pick would be heading to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Fred VanVleet, Dalano Banton, and Juancho Hernangomez.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors & LA Clippers Updates

VanVleet would be a huge upgrade at the point guard position, reuniting with Leonard as two key pieces that helped the Raptors win the NBA championship in 2019. With a player option for the 2023-24 season, the Clippers would likely only make a deal if they felt VanVleet put them over the top and are ready to commit a long-term deal to him.

The Wichita State product is having an inefficient shooting season, but that should improve with a strong supporting cast around him. His averages of 18.7 points, 6.3 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game are solid and would provide Los Angeles with a much-needed upgrade to their backcourt.

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