In a list of trade ideas designed to help some of the NBA’s top contenders improve their chances of dethroning the Los Angeles Lakers as champions, the outlet’s Zach Buckley explained the Clippers had the league’s second-most efficient offense last season despite relying primarily on one-on-one basketball and ranking 26th out of 30 teams in potential assists per game. He wrote this lack of playmaking was one key reason why the club blew a 3-1 series lead against the Denver Nuggets in this year’s Western Conference semifinal series.
As superstar forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George would be able to enter free agency if they decline their player options in the summer of 2021, Buckley suggested the Clippers should do what they could to patch up their weaknesses. To this end, he recommended a trade that would send Lowry and backup guard Norman Powell to Los Angeles in exchange for guards Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Landry Shamet, and Rodney McGruder, center Ivica Zubac, and a second-round pick each in the 2022 and 2023 drafts.
“Lowry could be perfect for the Clippers,” the Bleacher Report writer explained.
“On the court, he’d scratch the itch for distribution while adding more shooting and another scoring threat, plus he’d pester point guards at the other end. Off the court, he could serve as the emotional leader of a team that former head coach Doc Rivers felt lacked toughness at times.”
In addition, Buckley predicted Powell could continue thriving as a “three-and-D” player if he gets moved to the Clippers, further increasing their chances of boasting the “most talented roster in basketball” ahead of the 2020-21 season.
A former first-round pick out of Villanova, Lowry will be entering his 15th NBA season when the 2020-21 campaign kicks off later this year. According to Basketball Reference, the 34-year-old averaged 19.4 points, five rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game and shot 41.6 percent from the field for the Raptors in 2019-20. He also made his sixth straight All-Star Game appearance earlier this year.
As for the Raptors, Buckley wrote the organization might as well plan for the future, especially since three of their key players — Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and Fred VanVleet — will all be entering free agency this offseason. He pointed out the five players moving to Toronto in the hypothetical deal could help the organization remain competitive in 2020-21, with Zubac and Shamet standing out as young prospects with potential. Veterans Williams and Beverley, however, were mentioned as two players who could be traded to other contenders for “assets.”