Hours before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Clippers succeeded to find a way to improve their roster with the acquisition of veteran forward Marcus Morris. In a three-team deal, the Clippers received Morris and Isaiah Thomas, the New York Knicks got Maurice Harkless, a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick, while the Washington Wizards acquired Jerome Robinson. The arrival of Morris in Los Angeles arguably strengthened the Clippers’ chances of taking the deep Western Conference and winning a championship this season.
However, according to ESPN, the Clippers aren’t done making moves. While Morris is set to be an integral part of their plans to gun for a championship, Thomas — the other player they acquired in the three-team deal — isn’t expected to be part of the team for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. As the outlet noted, Los Angeles is planning to waive Thomas and let him choose his next destination as an unrestricted free agent.
After waiving Thomas, the Clippers will reportedly search the buyout market for players that could help them address some of their other issues.
“Once he is waived, the Clippers will have two open roster spots that they will look to the buyout market to fill. While Morris gives the Clippers another 3-point shooter and defender with size, the Clippers will look for a veteran playmaker, shooter, big man or defensive specialist to potentially fill those two roster spots.”
Some people might question the Clippers’ decision to waive Thomas. Though he’s no longer the player that once wreaked havoc as a Boston Celtic, Thomas would address his new team’s need for an experienced playmaker and shooter. Thomas isn’t only in better shape this season but he is also showing tremendous improvement with his three-point shooting. In 40 games he played as a Wizard, the 30-year-old point guard averaged 12.2 points and 3.7 assists while shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from beyond the arc. However, despite what he can contribute on the offensive end of the floor, the Clippers reportedly see the undersized Thomas as a defensive liability.
As of now, the Clippers are being linked to another veteran point guard who may be available on the free-agent market — Darren Collison. Months after announcing his retirement, rumors have started to circulate that the 32-year-old wants to play in the NBA again and reportedly prefers to join one of the two Los Angeles teams. Unfortunately for the Clippers, Collison is rumored to be more interested in signing with their Staples Center co-tenants — the Lakers — who are also in need of another playmaker and shot-creator.