Clippers Rumors: Trade Buzz Surrounding Lonzo Ball, George Hill and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2021

Clippers Rumors: Trade Buzz Surrounding Lonzo Ball, George Hill and More

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    Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Clippers are, for now, the top team in L.A. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis both sidelined for the Lakers, the Clippers have been able to push past their cross-town rivals and into the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference.

    This doesn't mean, of course, that the Clippers won't have to deal with the Lakers at some point in the postseason.

    "Rivals are operating under the assumption James will be 100 percent for the playoffs, and the Los Angeles Lakers as formidable as ever," ESPN's Zach Lowe recently wrote.

    However, the Clippers' position near the top of the standings should make them buyers ahead of Thursday's trade deadline. They're only three wins behind the top-seeded Utah Jazz and could look to close that gap by dealing for a contributor like former Laker Lonzo Ball.

    The Clippers have recently been linked to Ball and a few other notable potential trade targets. Here, we'll dive into the latest buzz ahead of deadline day.

Clippers Considering a Multi-Team Deal to Acquire Ball

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    Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

    The New Orleans Pelicans may not actively be shopping Ball. However, teams around the league are interested in the 23-year-old point guard, The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor.

    "There's skepticism around the league that the Pelicans will move Lonzo Ball ahead of the deadline, but that won't stop teams from trying. League sources say the Bulls and Hawks are both in pursuit," O'Connor wrote.

    Los Angeles, it seems, is among those teams.

    "The Clippers, with a well-chronicled need for a playmaking upgrade, are exploring trade routes to acquiring New Orleans' Lonzo Ball before next Thursday's NBA trade deadline, league sources say," Marc Stein of the New York Times tweeted earlier this month.

    Stein more recently indicated (h/t ClutchPoints) that the Clippers are exploring "potential multi-team trade scenarios" with Ball as the intended target.

    Of course, a deal could be difficult to pull off. The Clippers won't want to part with any significant pieces, and the Pelicans aren't likely to give up Ball on the cheap.

Clippers Have "Expressed Interest" in George Hill

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    While Oklahoma City Thunder point guard George Hill may not be as juicy of a potential trade target as Ball, the 34-year-old has been linked to the Clippers. According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Clippers have explored the possibility of acquiring Hill.

    "There hadn't been much chatter regarding the Oklahoma City Thunder's veteran point guard, but as the trade deadline inches ever closer, Hill's name has emerged more and more in conversations among team executives," Fischer wrote. "Both Los Angeles teams and Philadelphia have expressed interest, according to league sources."

    While the Clippers would have to come up with the draft capital to get a deal done—they're currently sitting around pick No. 25 in this year's draft—a deal could be beneficial for cap purposes.

    "They're willing to [both] take back and trade salary for draft compensation," a source said of the Thunder, per Fischer.

    Hill has been out since January after undergoing a thumb procedure.

Clippers Have Also Looked into Ricky Rubio

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    Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

    Los Angeles appears to be exploring all of its options when it comes to the point-guard position. According to O'Connor, the Clippers have also kicked the tires on Minnesota Timberwolves standout Ricky Rubio.

    "Though the Clippers have interest in big-name point guards like Ball and Lowry, their more realistic trade targets would grab fewer headlines," O'Connor wrote. "League sources say the Clippers have had trade talks with Oklahoma City for George Hill and with Minnesota for Ricky Rubio."

    O'Connor also pointed out the reality that guards like Hill and Rubio are probably the most realistic options for Los Angeles—at least in a straight-up two-team trade.

    Unlike Hill, Rubio has been healthy throughout the season—he had 11 points and 11 assists Tuesday against the Thunder. While the 30-year-old isn't a rising star like Ball, he could still be a valuable member of the Clippers rotation.

    Don't be surprised if Los Angeles adds Rubio, Hill or another point guard ahead of Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline.