Los Angeles Clippers: The three-team trade that can land Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic is one of the most promising prospects in the 2018 NBA Draft and the Los Angeles Clippers are currently out of the picture with the 12th and 13th picks.

The Los Angeles Clippers are in need of an identity moving forward. As much as the team wants to establish a winning culture and paint the image that the team is still a contender, it is not.

Even if all of the talent remains under contract the Clippers are, at best, a sixth or seventh seed in the Western Conference. The gap between LA and the elite of the NBA is huge. Instead of stalling the rebuild, the Clippers should be jumping right into it.

This summer, the Clippers are dealing with three player options in DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers and Milos Teodosic. If the three do walk, they would join Avery Bradley. If the trio stays, each of the three would have one more season with the Los Angeles Clippers.

That is where it gets tricky for LA and why the team should just rip the bandage off now. The only players on the Clippers locked down past next season are Jawun Evans, Lou Williams, Sindarius Thornwell, C.J. Williams, Danilo Gallinari and Sam Dekker.

Tobias Harris, Patrick Beverley, Wesley Johnson and Boban Marjanovic would join those opting back into their deals if they do. As you can see, the team will be a wasteland by the time that happens. It is time to start looking towards the future.

No prospect in the 2018 NBA Draft has had more hype around him than international star Luka Doncic.

While Doncic may not be as surefire as say DeAndre Ayton, he can be a game changer and be the face of the Clippers for the next ten seasons.

Without a high selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers effectively have no shot at Doncic. That is unless the team makes a deal.

And while a traditional two-team trade may be the more popular consensus due to the factors that come into a three-team trade. However, using speculation around two other teams, the Clippers can serve as mediators to make a trade possible.

  • Los Angeles Clippers receive: First overall pick, Jeff Teague, Tyson Chandler
  • Phoenix Suns receive: Karl-Anthony Towns
  • Minnesota Timberwolves receive: DeAndre Jordan, Patrick Beverley, 12th and 13th overall pick 

Karl-Anthony Towns has emerged as a potential trade candidate after reports emerged that there is internal friction between Towns and the Timberwolves. While the Timberwolves are more likely to cut ties with head coach Tom Thibodeau before trading Towns, it is a possibility.

The Phoenix Suns have emerged as the most likely destination for Towns due to the link with college teammate Devin Booker.

https://twitter.com/DevinBook/status/1002028697061179392

As great as a potential swap would be, the first overall pick for Towns, it is not that simple. Minnesota is still in a very good position to build a contender and should also look to add pieces to win now. Unfortunately, the Suns cannot offer that.

That is where the Los Angeles Clippers come in and throw DeAndre Jordan and defensive wizard Patrick Beverley into the mix. Jeff Teague was never a great fit in Minnesota and a defensive backcourt of Beverley and Jimmy Butler would be lethal. Jordan would give Minnesota relief at center.

Plus, the Timberwolves would still be getting stock in the draft, adding two lottery picks. With these picks, Minnesota can address two different needs on the team and can still land a future all-star.

As for Phoenix, it still has to give up the first overall pick but can also offset a contract in Tyson Chandler. This would open up nearly $6 million in cap space, allowing the Suns more flexibility this offseason as well.

And while it may be a bit optimistic, this trade actually makes sense for all parties involved. The Suns-Timberwolves trade becomes more beneficial for both parties and the Los Angeles Clippers can add Luka Doncic. Done deal.