January 18, 2023, 12:30 am
GM: Yossi Gozlan, @yossigozlan
Salary Cap: $191,952,781
Luxury Tax: -$41,685,781
GOAL: If possible, reduce the luxury tax bill. But Ballmer has never saved money at the expense of winning, so gauge the market and be willing to take on additional money if it will improve championship odds
• There’s a lot of mid-tier salaries on your roster, which gives flexibility to even shave some money, or to salary match to get another guy
• Gauge market for Luke Kennard, Amir Coffey, & Robert Covington, among others
• Utilize relatively large TPE
• Get an upgrade at playmaker and try to find a backup big man
• Would they take a swing on Lonzo Ball with his health concerns?
Players to Dangle
Luke Kennard (3/$45.2 with TO in 2024-25)
o Salary: $14,415,545
o Can salary match up to $18,119,431 in a deal
Robert Covington (2/$24)
o Salary: $12,307,692
o Can salary match up to $15,484,615 in a deal
Reggie Jackson (1/$11.2)
o Salary: $11,215,260
o Can salary match up to $14,119,075
John Wall (2/$13.3)
o Salary: $6,479,000
o Can match up to $8,198,750
Amir Coffey (3/$11)
o Salary: $3,395,062
o Can salary match up to $4,343,827
• Would John Collins or Bogdan Bogdanovic make sense?
o Robert Covington & Coffey for John Collins & Justin Holiday would save Atlanta substantial money
o Kennard for Bogdan works financially, but doesnt make much sense for Atlanta unless they really want shooting
o Reggie Jackson + Coffey works for Bogdan, but could Bogdan be the full-time lead facilitator for Clippers?
• Can acquire shooting from Brooklyn between Joe Harris, Seth Curry, & Patty Mills… but Clippers are willing to move Kennard so shooting doesn’t appear to be their issue
o Already have loads of wing depth and none of those guys are playmakers
• Gordon Hayward could fit, but do they want another oft injured guy?
o Secondary playmaker and ball handler, which Clippers sorely lack
o Can condense some of their wing depth
o Money is never a factor for them, so they won’t mind eating his deal
o We see all the time that a team will break up a larger, “untradeable” contract into two smaller contracts, as the two smaller contracts are easier to move, Covington and and Kennard may each have more value on trade market individually than Hayward does
• Terry Rozier is the absolute DREAM scenario, but he would likely require assets that the Clippers don’t have
o Clippers can offer either a 2028 1st or 2029 1st, is Kennard + Coffey + one of those firsts lightly protected enough to grab Rozier?
o If Charlotte wants to retain Miles Bridges and bring back PJ Washington, they’re going to get expensive quick with LaMelo due his rookie extension, would the $56 million in savings appeal to Charlotte?
• Kelly Oubre works financially, but doesnt make a ton of sense…. Could the Clippers snag PJ Washington as their bench big man?
• My (real, not Rozier) absolute dream scenario for the Clippers is Lonzo Ball
o Who knows what’s going on with his knee, does he even play this year, let alone ever again?
o Perfect fit for Clippers, but if they’re pursuing a championship this year, would they take on a guy who likely is out for the season?
o Reminder: Bulls have access to Lonzo’s medicals and health info, so they’ll be the ones to assess if they should just cut their losses or not
o Covington + Coffey works financially, would Bulls be able to get better?
o Neither RoCo or Coffey are in Clippers rotation, so this is a long term play that cuts into their depth, but does not immediately impact their title chances
• Ish Smith fits into their TPE and he’s a ball handler…. Helps Denver shed salary against the tax
• Alec Burks, Cory Joseph, & Nerlens Noel
o Nerlens fits into their TPE and he addresses the backup center position behind Zubac
o Burks is similar to Bogi and Hayward in aspect of he’s a secondary ball handler with some creation abilities
o Detroit would probably want Reggie Jackson back in a deal for Burks & Noel because it won’t eat into their cap space this summer, but Clips still need the primary ball handler
o Would Detroit take Covington with an asset attached with the intention of flipping him at some point before free agency opens up?
• Myles Turner
o It’s starting to look like Indiana is going to keep him, but it’s been reported that the Clippers have had interest in the past, so we’ll keep an eye out
• TJ McConnell
o He isn’t a world beater, but he’s an adequate backup point guard. Can go one of two routes in a trade for him:
o McConnell for a second round pick or two (not sure how to appropriately value him?)
o McConnell + Theis for one of the plethora of wings the Clippers have, Indiana desperately needs one
o Gets off Theis’ money for next year, and Clippers don’t mind paying extra money to compete, and when healthy, Theis can also settle in as Zubac’s backup as well
• Patrick Beverley
o These two teams never trade with each other (Ivica Zubac-Mike Muscala swap aside), but a Beverly reunion for the Clippers could seem feasible for one of the Clippers wings
o Kennard or Covington would do wonders for the Lakers, though both options would eat into the Lakers $33 million in cap space next year
• Xavier Tillman
o Ideal backup big for Zubac, but what assets will it cost? Would they trade him for Coffey?
• Can take Dewayne Dedmon into your TPE and it clears money for the Heat to have breathing room under the tax and potentially sign Orlando Robinson to a standard deal
• George Hill fits into TPE
• Minnesota is devoid of playmakers themselves, but if Minnesota doesn’t feel comfortable paying Jaylen Nowell this summer, would they move him?
• Screw it, would Minnesota trade the Clippers D’Angelo Russell?
o Luke Kennard, Norm Powell/Kennard, Coffey for D Lo?
• Willy Hernangomez fits into TPE
• Derrick Rose? NYK probably wouldn’t want to take on any long term money in a deal for him, but he’s a possibility
• Would Clippers give a first for Immanuel Quickley?
• Mo Bamba is another big man possibility, but Clippers would eat into Orlando’s cap space this summer unless they gave up one of their point guards… maybe loop in a third team to give an expiring to Orlando for Bamba with an asset(s) coming from the Clippers?
• RJ Hampton another Clippers possibility
• Richaun Holmes may be my favorite backup big target for the Clippers. He’s fallen out of favor in Sacramento. Maybe they’d take on Kennard or Covington for him. Clippers potentially take on more long term money in Holmes, but shed a couple million in the interim and fill a glaring hole in their roster
• Covington also gives the Kings some Harrison Barnes insurance in the event they don’t extend him and he walks this summer in free agency
• Jakob Poeltl: Clippers would have to pay a substantial price to trade for a guy who can walk in free agency after this summer, but he’d be such a nice piece for them
o Gorgui Dieng & Zach Collins also decent back up bigs for the Clippers
• Chris Boucher: Toronto needs big men themselves, but if they decide to become sellers at the deadline, Boucher can fit nicely almost anywhere as a 3&D big. Again, Clippers don’t mind taking on money, so the 3/$35 shouldn’t bother them too much
o Covington also fits what the Clippers do defensively and roster build-wise, if he’s the odd man out in a Boucher swap
• Mike Conley: $14.3 million guaranteed next year or $24.4 million if he sticks on the roster. Clippers wallets are bottomless, but they would need to be sure this is a move that would help them get into title contention with a healthy roster
• TPE: $9,720,900
• 2023 1st (OKC has swap rights)
• 2025 1st (OKC has swap rights)
• 2027 1st (unable to trade due to Stepien Rule)
• 2028 1st
• 2029 1st
• 2023 2nd
• 2024 2nd
• 2025 2nd
• 2026 2nd
• 2028 2nd
• 2029 2nd
Be sure to check back in over the next few weeks with the trade deadline window open now in our first annual mock trade deadline to see what mock transactions have been executed. The Mock Trade Deadline will conclude on February 2