Greif: Clippers Targeting Marquee Free Agents

NBA stars could be headed to Los Angeles this offseason – but not necessarily to the Lakers

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
April 04, 2019 - 10:05 am
Kawhi Leonard Toronto Raptors

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LeBron James hopes to recruit star players to Los Angeles this summer, but there’s just one problem: they might want to play for the Clippers instead.

Indeed, the Clippers (47-32) – without a bonafide superstar – are the 6-seed in a crowded Western Conference.

“Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant are obvious big fish they’d love to go try to lure to Los Angeles,” LA Times Clippers reporter Andrew Greif said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Leonard obviously has Southern California connections. That’s never been a secret. Kevin Durant, they have a lot of people in the front office who have been around Durant in his career. I think they like that. Maybe they can make a connection with him different from some other front offices, a pitch that’s a little more personal perhaps.”

The Clippers could also make a run at Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker.

“They want to take big swings come free agency,” Greif said. “They also want to be active in 2020 too, but ’19, with the kind of crop of free agents, they feel like they’re set up very well to go after some of those guys. I don’t think it’s out of the question to consider them trading potentially for Anthony Davis because they did a lot of moves at the deadline that gave them back draft picks and good young players. It could be an enticing package.”

The Clippers’ top scorers are Lou Williams (20.2 points per game), Danilo Gallinari (19.8), and Montrezl Harrell (16.6).

“This is not a roster that needs to be encouraged to play with a chip on its shoulder,” Greif said. “Williams, Harrell, (Patrick) Beverley, even Gallinari, who’s been told ‘You’re very injury-prone, you can’t stay healthy – he’s been motivated by that, too. I know some people in the organization have thought, ‘This is a star-driven league.’ Obviously they want to be that star-driven team next year in free agency, if everything goes as they hope. 

“But they really like the competitiveness of this team because it’s a lot of free agents – a lot of guys whose deals are going to be up at the end of the year,” Greif continued. “I think they all realize a rising tide lifts all boats. If they play well, they’re going to get recognized, and I think that’s absolutely a factor why they seem to play so well together. They understand if you play well this year, that could set them up individually pretty well for the next couple of years.”

Click below to listen to Greif’s interview in its entirety.