The LA Clippers are still very much in the mix of keeping their NBA playoff run alive after winning Game 3 of their Western Conference Semifinals matchup with the Utah Jazz. While it’s still more likely than not that losing the series is the outcome, the focus remains on the actual product on the floor. That’s not the case for the Portland Trail Blazers.
It will be a priority for the Trail Blazers to make changes in order to keep Damian Lillard content with the organization. Portland already fired former head coach Terry Stotts, but could a major trade be in store in order to spark some urgency and test a new combination? This will be something to monitor in NBA trade rumors as the festivities of the offseason approaches.
Something the Trail Blazers should keep a close eye on is the LA Clippers’ ability to pull off a series win against the Utah Jazz. If they fail to get the job done, it’s tough to envision Kawhi Leonard being satisfied with running it back the way it is, especially with him reaching NBA free agency this offseason.
Kawhi Leonard will have substantial leverage to spark change, if that’s something he wants done in order to stay. He used his leverage to even pull off the Paul George trade in the first place before committing to sign with the Clippers in the first place.
Again, it remains to be seen how the Clippers’ playoff run will play out. If Paul George plays at a high-level like he has so far in this series against the Jazz, it’s tough to envision the Clippers or Kawhi Leonard pointing to him as the reason for those shortcomings. Instead, the focus would shift to the supporting cast. It’ll be something to watch regardless, though.
Let’s take a look at an NBA trade scenario centered around Paul George by Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley that would feature the All-Star being dealt by the LA Clippers to the Portland Trail Blazers.