What a start to the season it’s been for the Los Angeles Clippers.
After the first two weeks of this young NBA season, the Los Angeles Clippers looked like one of the top teams in the western conference, as they started the season an impressive 5-2. They seemingly had life post-CP3 figured out.
That success was not long-lasting, as the team has since seen a rapid reversal of fortune, losing nine straight games.
Some of the team’s recent struggles may be attributed to the injuries suffered to key players such as Danilo Gallinari, Patrick Beverley and Milos Teodosic. But the Clippers’ real problem is far deeper than just health concerns.
To start the season, the team has relied far too heavily on Blake Griffin to shoulder the play-making load. For the first seven games, it appeared that Blake could successfully run this team as the defacto point forward, but as seen by the team’s current losing streak, that formula’s success has come to an end. This is apparent by the fact that the Clippers are currently ranked 28th in team assists per game.
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While Griffin is an immensely talented player, the painful truth is that on his own, he can’t lead this team to victory on a nightly basis.
The team desperately needs a guard who can fill the playmaking void left by Chris Paul, and as currently constructed, the Clipper’s roster doesn’t seem to possess that player.
Patrick Beverly is very talented, but he is best suited to play alongside a playmaker, as seen by his success playing opposite James Harden. Austin Rivers is definitely not the answer, as we all know he is only on the team because of his last name. That leaves only Milos Teodosic as the lone source of hope for the team.
Many Clippers fans are confident that upon his return, Teodosic will fill this playmaking role, but I hesitate to be so sure. While Teodosic shows promise, he is an unknown commodity, and until we see him live up to the hype in the NBA, we need to stop talking about his playmaking ability as if he is Jason Kidd.
The question now arises, if Teodosic may not be the answer, what is? The solution is clear, the team must make a trade, even if it means dealing Deandre Jordan. While Jordan is extremely valuable, his skillset does not compliment Blake Griffin’s as well as a high-level guard would.
While there are no names that immediately come to mind as likely trade targets, with Eric Bledsoe now off the market, the Clippers could attempt to trade for a player such as Dennis Schroder.
This deal would be greatly beneficial for both teams. The Hawks are currently rebuilding and may look to trade Schroder, in an effort to tank and gather more assets for the future.
The deal would obviously make sense for the Clippers, as Schroder is a young guard who can not only score at a high level, but can also get his team mates involved. This is evident by the fact that Schroder averaged 20.1 points and 6.9 assists last season, per Basketball Reference, and has improved every year in his short career.
A guard with this play style is perfect to play alongside Blake Griffin. Schroder is young enough, at only 24 years old, that he could also be an integral part of the team’s plans for the future.
Even if Schroder is not necessarily the answer, the Clippers must acquire a player of similar stature, if they want to save their season.