Why the Clippers Should Do It
The urgency in this trade would be much higher for the Clippers than it would be for the 76ers.
The reason is because Paul George can opt-out after 2021 and leave in free agency. The same can be said for Leonard.
Considering the treasure trove of picks the Clippers gave up for George, it would make sense to acquire a player in Ben Simmons who is under control for five more seasons on his current extension.
Simmons’ contract is essentially the opposite of George’s, so what the Clippers currently lack in control over George, they would have over Simmons.
The questions surrounding Simmons center on his jump shooting ability, and his health. If he can consistently stay healthy and stay on the floor, he will only grow and improve as a player.
This trade would give the Clippers more control over their future beyond 2021, and it would allow Los Angeles to remain in contention next season with Leonard and Simmons.
Richardson also can’t be written off in this trade. He’s not a superstar on George or Simmons’ level, but he was highly touted in Miami and Philadelphia, and he’d be a solid piece for the future in Los Angeles.