Will the trades Help or Hurt the Clippers and Lakers?
February 15, 2018
Professional athletes are traded all the time but when it happens most of the time it’s a shock to the players, families and fans. Unfortunately that is one of the things professional athletes have to deal with. They make a lot of money but on any given day they might have to leave one area of the country and go to another.
Two Laker players, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. had to leave sunny southern California and go to cold Cleveland. Former Clipper Blake Griffin was traded to Detroit six months after signing a five year $173 million dollar contract.
Now the questions pop up. Did the teams make the trades to make their teams better now or in the future? Did the Lakers and Clippers make other teams better now? Have we seen the last of player movement?
The Lakers appear to be making moves for the future although what they are going to do with the players they acquired from Cleveland we have to wait and see. If Isaiah Thomas can recapture the form that made him an All-star with the Boston Celtics last season the Lakers may need to keep him.
The Laker front office of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka are clearly looking to the future. That was made perfectly clear when they traded Clarkson and Nance. Trading Clarkson freed up a lot of money that they can use to sign elite free agents like Paul George and LeBron James this summer.
Another question the Lakers have to answer is, do they have enough talent to attract elite players? When it comes to young talent Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Minnesota all have better young players than the Lakers.
Johnson and Pelinka have other options. If things don’t go according to plan this summer the summer of 2019 may be their summer of dreams. That might work out better for the Lakers because they can build a better product on the court and convince free agents that they are serious about winning. At press time the Lakers were 23-32 and six games away from making the playoffs.
The Clippers’ situation is a little different. With a front office led by Jerry West they are trying to build for the future but they are one game away from the playoffs. When they traded Griffin they got two good players that can help them now. Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley are two veteran players who can play offense and defense.
West has helped to build three franchises into winners. Lakers, Memphis and Golden State have all benefitted from West’s basketball knowledge. If the Clippers continue to listen to West they should be one of the top teams in the NBA in a few years.