3 reasons the Clippers need to trade for Zion Williamson this offseason


For a Los Angeles Clippers franchise that just reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history, the hope is to build on that performance next season. Superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have already missed the majority of the current campaign, but there’s no doubt they would welcome another with a huge upside in Zion Williamson.

Williamson played a year at Duke before entering the NBA and is still only 21 years old. The potential he possesses would be a rare breed for the Clippers to add to their roster. The Clippers have the salary fillers and role players to eventually build a Big Three and have a more formidable team in the long run.

Additionally, the Clippers have already given up their young star to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander along with a plethora of draft picks. With that in mind, acquiring Williamson would give them a young star to build around their two top stars – one reason why LA should try to trade for the former No. 1 pick this summer.

3 reasons the Clippers need to trade for Zion Williamson this offseason

Athletic and all-around wings thrive with Lue

Besides Leonard and George, LA has a slew of forwards who thrive on both sides, like Norman Powell, Marcus Morris Sr. and Robert Covington. Their versatility and ability to contribute in a variety of ways on the pitch is something Lue would get from Williamson. As a former player, Lue’s mentorship and guidance would be instrumental, releasing his weaknesses and shyness to be more assertive on the pitch.

Williamson’s offense is already unchallenged despite only being in the league for a short time, but it is his defensive awareness and anticipation that could still be significantly improved. It would certainly be a gradual process, especially with his lingering injuries. However, progress could be faster in the Clippers organization because of people who would be willing to pass on philosophies and principles that have been integral to the team excelling defensively.

Most actors don’t have expiring contracts

If Williamson forces their hand to trade him, the New Orleans Pelicans would rather get incredible role players still capable of playing on their team for at least a full season. With Covington as the only player in a contract year, this is the best offseason for LA to negotiate a blockbuster trade involving Williamson.

The Pelicans’ interest in negotiating with the Clippers will continually diminish if they have to take over expiring contracts in a Williamson trade. His injury-plagued career means his value is at rock bottom; LA won’t get another chance to buy a bottom player with obvious superstar potential. On the other hand, as Clippers players thrive without Leonard and George, their value has steadily increased over the season.

Zion is younger than the core

When building a team, the direction and goals of the front office should go beyond the present and the immediate future. Decision makers must also consider their team’s long-term future, and with the King’s ransom they paid the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for George, it will be a tough rebuild for the Clippers if their current core never reached his championship peak.

If Leonard, George and other key pieces eventually leave Los Angeles, Williamson would still be the fundamental asset needed to build the next great iteration of the Clippers. Additionally, Williamson’s presence would give other free agents a major reason to partner with him in Southern California to form a legitimate team that would rival the powerhouses of the Western Conference. The Clippers’ successful seasons would last longer due to Williamson’s immense talent at just 21 years old.

Sixers, Andre Drummond, Doc Rivers

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