The Los Angeles Clippers have lost guard Patrick Beverley for the remainder of the season. He was traded to the Clippers as part of the Chris Paul trade with the Houston Rockets.
Beverley, 29, will be sidelined after having surgery on his right knee and has an expected recovery time of nine months. During his 11 games with Los Angeles, his team outscored opponents by 4.5 points per 100 possessions when he was on the court.
While he is known around the league as an effective defender, his outside shot was one of his best tools for the Clippers. His field goal percentage ranked Top 15 among all players who attempted as many downtown shots from above the break (a non-corner three-pointer) so far this season.
It will not be easy to replace his production in Los Angeles, especially considering fellow point guard Milos Teodosic is out indefinitely with a plantar fascia injury.
Rob Mahoney recently summarized the numerous troubles in Los Angeles (via Sports Illustrated):
“This run of injuries has collapsed what—even under the best of circumstances—looked to be a delicate ecosystem. Scan the roster and you’ll find players new to the league, new to the Clippers, or new to their role. Any team that reorients itself so dramatically will be forced to reckon with the unexplored.”
If the team decides to trade their longtime big man DeAndre Jordan, they could seek a new point guard in return as both Teodosic and Beverley could become free agents in the offseason.
But a recent report suggested there will be a “limited number of teams” that would work for a trade.
Even though the Clippers do have an open roster spot available, they are sitting just below the point where luxury-tax penalties kick in. They have just $122,000 left to offer before they reach this benchmark.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes that the front office was very intentional in their decision to avoid paying the luxury tax. He does not predict they will change their mind even in light of the unfortunate injuries. Marks notes that it’s possible the team is granted a Disabled Player Exception (DPE) that would be worth $2.75 million.
Otherwise, they will be forced to work with what the players they already have on the roster. Expect Lou Williams and Austin Rivers to take over as the starting backcourt with rookies Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell providing depth.
CJ Williams, 27, is another player who will provide depth for the squad. However, he is signed to a two-way deal and can only play in the NBA for 45 days.