Even with just one official pick in the virtual 2020 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers lurked in the background of the event with trades and moves that are expected to help the team. The Clippers did not have a pick in the first round, but they were active on draft night as they were involved in a three-way deal between themselves, the Brooklyn Nets, and Detroit Pistons.
With the Nets’ 55th pick, the Clippers obtained the draft rights to Jayden Scrubb and four second-round draft picks (Portland 2023, Detroit 2024, 2025, 2026). From Detroit, the Clippers got Pistons guard Luke Kennard and Pistons center Justin Patton.
“Luke is a young, ascending player who has worked hard to establish himself as a reliable shooter and playmaker,” Lawrence Frank, Clippers President of Basketball Operations said in a released statement. “We’ve admired him from afar for quite a while and are excited to have him. In addition, the draft assets allow us the opportunity to continue drafting and developing young talent, or otherwise explore trade opportunities, for years to come.”
With Kennard, the Clippers are getting a 6-foot-5, 206-pound guard from the Pistons who averages 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game.
Patton, 23, on the other hand, appeared in five games for the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. The center was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and has played in nine career NBA games with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers and Thunder. He has moved around a lot but may get his chance to play more with a team looking to get better.
In return for the trade, the Clippers sent guard Landry Shamet and Reggie Perry, who Los Angeles drafted in the second round as the 57th pick, to Brooklyn. The Pistons received the draft rights to Saddiq Bey (Nets 19th overall pick), Clippers guard Rodney McGruder, Nets forward Dzanan Musa, a second-round draft pick (Toronto 2021), and the draft rights to Jaylen Hands.
What is important from this triangle trade for the Clippers is by sending away McGruder, which will help relieve $10 million off the books while only absorbing Shamet’s $2.1 million salary as a cap hit. These moves for the team should help the Clippers in the long run as they hope to bounce back from their early playoff bubble exist in Orlando.
“Landry is a terrific player who made some big shots for the Clippers and will make a lot more in his NBA career,” Frank said. “Rodney is a true professional who elevated our team. We wish Landry the best of luck in Brooklyn, and Rodney in Detroit.”
The Clippers did most of their business via trade the whole night and also acquired the draft rights to center Daniel Oturu, the 33rd overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the Detroit Pistons second-round draft pick in 2023 and the draft rights to Mathias Lessort.
It was also announced that Clippers reserve forward JaMychal Green, has declined his player option for the 2020-2021 season, making him an unrestricted free agent. Green’s option was worth just over $5 million.
Los Angeles did not have a first-round pick this year as they used it to acquire Marcus Morris Sr. from the New York Knicks back in February. The Utah Jazz also had one of the Clippers picks from the first round which would have been their 27th selection, they selected Udoka Azubuike from Kansas.
Last year, the Clippers selected Terance Mann from Florida State with the 48th overall pick.
At the moment, the Clippers will not have a first-round pick until the 2027 NBA Draft. They may find their way up the draft order in the future unless the team turns it around with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George leading the way.
In the NBA bubble, they were knocked out of the Western Conference playoffs in the semi-finals by the Denver Nuggets, losing the series in seven games when they were originally up 3-1.
In October, the Clippers announced the hiring of new head coach Tyronn Lue.
“We have work to do to becomes champions, but we have the motivation, the tools, and the support to get there,” Lue said. “I’m excited to get started.”
Lue was chosen as the next coach of the Clippers as former coach Doc Rivers stepped down from the position and is now coaching in Philadelphia for the 76ers.
Editor’s note: Featured image: Members of the 2019-20 Los Angeles Clippers watch the action of a home game played at STAPLES Center from the bench during the regular season. Photo by Mark Hammond for News4usonline