The Los Angeles Clippers may be one of the heavy favorites to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t be trying to improve their current roster this fall. Like other title contenders, the Clippers also have some issues that they need to address on their team, including their need for a starting-caliber center. One of the players that the Clippers could target on the trade market in the 2020 offseason is Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Clippers could acquire Adams by sending a package that includes Montrezl Harrell and Landry Shamet to the Thunder. Before pushing forward with the suggested deal, the Clippers would first need to convince Harrell to agree to a sign-and-trade. Though Adams isn’t an All-Star, Buckley believes that his potential arrival could turn the Clippers into “cheat-code great” and boost their chances of keeping Kawhi Leonard and Paul George long-term in Los Angeles.
“If the Clippers can’t win a championship this season, they’ll have one more chance at making the ultimate sales pitch before Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can enter free agency. In other words, L.A. should leave nothing to chance next season. Adding Adams as an anchor could elevate this defense from really good (fifth in efficiency) to cheat-code great. With championship paths potentially encountering Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic or Anthony Davis, Adams can provide the muscle and interior defense this club needs to take the title.”
Adams may not be on the same level as big men from other powerhouse teams like Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), and Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), but compared to Ivica Zubac and Harrell, he could effectively guard any of those big men. Adams would give the Clippers a reliable scoring option under the basket, an incredible rebounder, and someone who wouldn’t mind doing the dirty tasks on the defensive end. This season, he averaged 10.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 blocks while shooting 59.2 percent from the field, per ESPN.
If the proposed scenario becomes a reality, chances are it would not only be beneficial for the Clippers, but also for the Thunder. In exchange for Adams, the Thunder would be acquiring another promising talent in Shamet, who would join their young core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, Darius Bazley, and Hamidou Diallo. At 26, Harrell still has enough productive years left to see the Thunder’s younger players potentially blossom into legitimate superstars in the league.