The Los Angeles Clippers already made one trade this season, which netted them All-Star point guard James Harden, and has paid huge dividends.
The Clippers have the second-best record in the Western Conference (34-15) and only a half-game behind the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder for first place in the NBA’s Western Conference.
If Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Harden can stay healthy, while Russell Westbrook plays good hoops off the bench, the Clippers have a good opportunity to make a deep playoff run this year.
However, we know the Clippers would love to add more depth to their bench ahead of Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline. Los Angeles has a few players they could use in a couple of trades, as they don’t have a ton of draft capital to work with.
Below, we’ll discuss three players who won’t be with the Clippers after the trade deadline as the team tries to capitalize on an impressive first half of the regular season.
1. P.J. Tucker
The veteran forward came over with Harden in the trade from the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this season. But he hasn’t done much with the Clippers.
The 39-year-old Tucker is averaging 1.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game (12 games with Los Angeles. The defensive-minded forward hasn’t played since Nov. 27 against the Denver Nuggets.
Tucker reportedly expressed frustration with his role in December, but that hasn’t forced head coach Ty Lue to give him any minutes. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported last week that Los Angeles is gauging the trade market for Tucker and young guard Bones Hyland.
However, Scotto adds that if the Clippers cannot trade Tucker, he will not discuss a buyout as he has a $11.54 million player option next season.
It’s hard to see a contender or a fringe playoff team giving up much of anything for a player that doesn’t offer much on offense. It also doesn’t help that Tucker is making $11M this season and has the player option. If the Clippers want to move the defensive-minded forward, they must attach that 2030 first-round or one of their young players (Brandon Boston Jr., Kobe Brown, or Hyland).