The Los Angeles Clippers are in the market for a point guard, and they may be moving on to more realistic targets.
The Los Angeles Clippers are in the market for a point guard, with Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball as the big-name targets. But Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has reported they have had trade talks with Oklahoma City about George Hill and Minnesota about Ricky Rubio.
With Paul George and Kawhi Leonard as their leading assists guys, the Clippers are in dire need of a playmaker. Patrick Beverley is a defense-oriented point guard, while Reggie Jackson and Lou Williams are scoring-oriented. As O’Connor noted, the team’s defensive rating has fallen from fifth last year to 15th this year.
The Clippers are moving to more realistic point guard targets
The Raptors may not trade Lowry, and the Pelicans may hang onto Ball. In either case, the Clippers don’t have the assets to get those deals done, barring the involvement of a third team that has tradeable first-round picks. So Hill and Rubio are more realistic options.
Hill has not played since Jan. 24 due to a thumb injury. Now basically a month past an original 4-week return timetable, and having yet to shed his cast as of a few days ago, he’s probably played his last game for the Thunder. He will primarily bring a scoring mentality to his next team.
Rubio’s season back with the Timberwolves hasn’t been great, for himself or the team. But he has been better lately, in concert with D’Angelo Russell’s absence, and his reputations as a classic pass-first point guard and an underrated defender remain. He has surfaced as a trade deadline target for a few teams.
The Clippers may not have a big deadline move for Lowry or Ball in them, but a big move isn’t really necessary either. If/when they do something in the next few days, Hill or Rubio might be that something to upgrade at point guard.