L.A. Clippers trade rumors have linked several key players to the team this weekend, including Wilson Chandler of the Denver Nuggets and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks. This seems to highlight a need for the Clippers as the team tries to secure a good seed in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. Acquiring a small forward before the February 23 NBA trade deadline might provide the team with a boost necessary to compete with the Golden State Warriors.
A report by Newsday from late Saturday (Feb. 18) relayed some quotes from Anthony, including how he sees his personal script playing out for the remainder of the 2016-17 NBA season. It followed suggestions that the team he would most like to play for this season (other than the Knicks) would be the L.A. Clippers. In that scenario, he could play with friend Chris Paul, giving the Clippers another weapon to work with on offense.
“I don’t know, to be honest with you. It would be up in the air. It’s something I have a problem thinking about. To say I don’t think about it, I’d be wrong, I’d be lying to you. I think about it. I think about it a lot. I think about what’s best for me, what’s best for the organization and what’s out there. I do think about it. I do think about that stuff.”
It was a typical non-committal answer from Carmelo Anthony, but it would be unfair to expect more from him due to his current situation with the New York Knicks. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the drama between Anthony and Knicks team president Phil Jackson has even former players commenting, showing how the deteriorating situation may need to be addressed as soon as possible. It means an Anthony trade might actually be possible in the next week if he is willing to waive his no-trade clause.
As for a more realistic option that has surfaced in the latest L.A. Clippers trade rumors, the team has shown a lot of interest in acquiring Wilson Chandler from the Denver Nuggets. A report by Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix of The Vertical stated that the Oklahoma City Thunder are also expressing interest in Chandler, possibly creating a bidding war of sorts for a good role player.
“Oklahoma City had been very much in pursuit of Rudy Gay before his season-ending injury. They’d love to get a 4-man, a versatile forward, as would the Clippers. Both teams think that kind of a player maybe gets them over the hump in a first-round series.”
Chandler has played 50 games for the Nuggets this season, averaging 15.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game. He could give the Clippers a nice weapon on offense, as he also averages 33.8 percent from three-point range. Most of his minutes have come off the bench, a result of Danilo Gallinari starting most games for the Nuggets this year.
At just 29, Chandler sees himself as a starting small forward, which is a role that he may need to claim on a different team. This will cause his name to get mentioned a lot as the NBA trade deadline gets closer. In addition to the $11.2 million he earns this season, Chandler will make $12 million next year, and $12.8 million the following season. It’s an affordable contract to a new team, especially if he can score in double-figures every night.
So which player would be the best fit for the Clippers? The answer seems to be Carmelo Anthony, especially if the team can retain Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. The reason is that Anthony is a really good offensive weapon who could take advantage of single defenders. Wilson Chandler would be the easier acquisition to make, though, and it is going to be easier to get him from the Denver Nuggets than to pry Anthony away from the New York Knicks. What these L.A. Clippers trade rumors do show, is that the team wants to make a big splash soon.
[Featured Image by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images]