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The Clippers Do Not Need to Make a Trade: A Fan’s Take
The Los Angeles Clippers are better than they have been in years, and they are in the unfamiliar position of being buyers at the trade deadline rather than sellers. At this point of the season, all the good teams are looking to tweak as they go into the playoffs. This is particularly true when a team is struggling a bit. The Clips have had a poor road trip and they haven't been the same since Chauncey Billups went down. Do they really need to make a trade? If so, what do they need?
The shooting guard position is a bit less stable. I like Mo Williams and Chris Paul playing interchangeable positions in the backcourt, but that can get a bit confusing in terms of flow. Randy Foye can get hot at times, but there are some consistency issues with him. I just don't know if you will get a significant upgrade at this point.
Caron Butler has fallen off a bit, but I think he will do adequately as the season continues. This is a weakness in terms of depth as Bobby Simmons is probably a short-term solution and Ryan Gomes just isn't very effective. Unless you can significantly upgrade this position, Butler may be your best bet.
Blake Griffin. Perhaps you have heard of him? Griffin just needs to hit his free throws. I think you are fine at this position with the addition of Kenyon Martin. K-Mart and Reggie Evans provide that tough, veteran presence that can come off the bench and get some boards while Blake gets a breather.
The Clippers put their faith in DeAndre Jordan when they let Chris Kaman go, and so far it has paid off. You could argue that the Clips do not have a true backup center, but this is another spot where Martin and Evans can provide some depth in the middle. Few teams have two effective big men.
Trade pieces and weaknesses
The reality is that the Clippers just don't have a lot to trade. They can trade Eric Bledsoe, but he will only bring so much on the open market. Draft picks would be in the future, and there really aren't a lot of bench pieces that would be intriguing to other clubs. Mostly, the Clippers just need to play better defense. To me, that is about coaching and effort.
Would I take Ray Allen? Sure. I just don't see a scenario where the Clippers could get him at the right price.
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