The Los Angeles Clippers may be currently the heavy favorite to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they would no longer try to find a way to upgrade their current roster this fall. Like other legitimate title contenders, the Clippers also have some issues that they need to address, including the absence of a starting-caliber center on their team. One of the players that the Clippers could target on the trade market in the 2020 offseason is All-Star center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.
In a recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report created a list of one offseason deal that every team should be thinking about. For the Clippers, it should be the blockbuster deal that would enable them to form a “Big Three” of Gobert, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George next season. To acquire Gobert, Buckley suggested that the Clippers could offer a package that includes Patrick Beverley, Ivica Zubac, Landry Shamet, and multiple first-round picks to the Jazz.
“If L.A. makes a bold move for Rudy Gobert, it could be looking at a historically dominant defense with an offense that still features two perimeter superstars. It would cut down the Clippers’ depth—say goodbye to Patrick Beverley, Ivica Zubac, Landry Shamet and multiple future picks at the very least—but they’d be so talented at the top, that might not matter.”
Trading Beverley, Zubac, and Shamet would definitely hurt their depth, but it is one of the moves that they should be willing to make if they fall short of achieving their championship goals this year. Gobert would be an incredible addition to their roster, giving them an All-Star caliber center and a very reliable third scoring option behind Leonard and George. Though he’s yet to unlock his three-point shooting skills, the 28-year-old French big man would still give the Clippers a tremendous boost in terms of scoring, rebounding, and protecting the rim.
This season, he’s averaging 15.1 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks on 69.8 percent shooting from the field, per ESPN. If they succeed to acquire Gobert this fall, the Clippers would no longer need to worry about facing other legitimate title contenders with dominant big men like Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee.
The proposed trade deal would also make sense for the Jazz, especially if the relationship between their two franchise cornerstones worsens in the 2020 offseason. In exchange for Gobert, they would be acquiring three quality role players that would help Mitchell carry the team next year. Utah could use the future first-rounders to add young and promising talents on their roster or as trade chips to further improve their core.