NBA Trade Rumors: Clippers Eye D'Angelo Russell, Christian Wood After Missing Kyrie

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 6, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 05: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on prior to the start of the game against the Denver Nuggets at Target Center on February 5, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
David Berding/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers have reportedly targeted Dallas Mavericks forward Christian Wood and Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell ahead of the 2023 NBA trade deadline.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported Wood and Russell are the Clippers "prime targets" before the Thursday cutoff date for trades.

The Clippers were among the teams in pursuit of Kyrie Irving before the Brooklyn Nets traded the All-Star guard to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. Stein reported Los Angeles wants to improve its frontcourt depth and find a primary point guard before the deadline.

Russell has been regularly mentioned in trade talks as he and the Timberwolves failed to reach a long-term contract extension. Minnesota hasn't gotten the All-Star-caliber player it hoped since acquiring Russell during the 2019-20 season, but he's currently in the midst of the most efficient year of his career. The 26-year-old is setting career highs in field goal percentage (46.4) and three-point percentage (38.9) while averaging 18.1 points and 6.2 assists per game.

Adding Russell would be an instant upgrade at a position the Clippers have struggled to fill since Chris Paul's departure. The John Wall-Reggie Jackson combo has not proven fruitful this season, with Wall looking like a shell of himself after years of injuries and Jackson never being much of a primary ball distributor.

Russell also has a natural score-first instinct, but he's averaged at least six assists per game in four of the last five years. His floor spacing would also be an upgrade over Wall and Jackson.

Wood has been out of the lineup since injuring his thumb Jan., 18 but has been largely stellar in his first year in Dallas. He's averaging 18.4 points and 8.4 rebounds while shooting 53.5 percent from the field in a bench-heavy role this season.

The Mavs may be looking to move on to avoid signing Wood to a long-term contract. He's eligible for a four-year, $77 million deal but there has largely been crickets in extension talks. The 27-year-old big man will be an unrestricted free agent in July.