The Los Angeles Lakers haven't played in the NBA Playoffs in the last 4 seasons and it's very unlikely that we will watch them this year as well. After a solid start, they have fallen to 3-7 in their last 10 games and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans are better than LA at the moment.
On the other side, we have the Los Angeles Clippers, who are in the worst position possible after six consecutive NBA Playoff appearances. Blake Griffin will not play for a reported 2 months after suffering a knee injury and after they lost Chris Paul to the Rockets in free agency, they are in a position to rebuild their roster.
The Los Angeles Clippers Need To Trade DeAndre Jordan
The first step they should take is to trade DeAndre Jordan. Why? Because he has a player option after this season and because he will ask for a max contract. DeAndre is a great fit when you have a good point guard, but when you don't have one, is it a smart move to pay $30 million dollars per year for a center who can't score unless someone assists him? Of course not.
Even though I think that the Clippers made a mistake because they didn't trade Chris Paul last February, they should be cautious and should not repeat the same mistake.
They need to start rebuilding and tanking so they can get a top pick this summer, and if they can get a young player for DeAndre Jordan, maybe they can create a good nucleus for the future. So, the first step is to trade DeAndre Jordan.
The best deal they can get is from the Cleveland Cavaliers (Nets' pick), but it's unfortunate that the Cavs will give that up for Jordan.
Why Is DeAndre Jordan A Good Fit For The Lakers?
DeAndre Jordan, in my opinion, could be an ideal player for the Lakers system, purely because they have Lonzo Ball who could become one of the best pick and roll players in the league. Brook Lopez is a center who needs the ball, so he is not a center who can contribute without the ball, plus he is one of the worst rebounders in the league, and he will become a free agent this season.
It's quite impossible that the Los Angeles Clippers will accept a straight trade -- Brook Lopez for DeAndre Jordan --but they should accept if the Lakers send Jordan Clarkson and Corey Brewer, because they can clear $7.5 million in salary and they can nab the talented Jordan Clarkson (he has a cheap contract next 3 years, don't forget) and he could become a starting shooting guard next season.
Why would DeAndre Jordan be a good fit for the Los Angeles Lakers?
Let's be honest and clear. I'm the fan of Los Angeles Lakers and I know that LeBron will be a free agent this summer, but he will not sign for the Los Angeles Lakers. He will be 33-years-old and he wants to win an NBA Championship, not to play on a roster with young players like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. So, just forget it, he will not sign for LA.
Who else is available? Durant (100% will not sign with LA), Cousins (he wants to win, so from this point of view - Cleveland are a very interesting destination for him, as well as the Pelicans if they make something good happen this year), Isaiah Thomas (LA have Lonzo Ball) and who else?
We have only two realistic options. That is Paul George and DeAndre Jordan.
If Magic Johnson trades Jordan Clarkson, amnesty or trade (somehow) Luol Deng, Lakers will clear more than $30 million in salary cap, so they will have only $20 million dollars in contracts and more than $80 million to spend this summer.
With young players who have cheap contracts (Lonzo, Kuzma, Ingram), Lakers can spend money on two big contracts this summer.
Paul George always dreams to play for the Lakers, and if Oklahoma doesn't have a good season, the Lakers will have the biggest chance to sign him over the summer.
With Paul George and DeAndre Jordan, the Los Angeles Lakers will finally become a strong franchise again, and maybe they can play against the Warriors when their young players develop and improve over the next few years.
Lonzo Ball is young, Kyle Kuzma is young, Brandon Ingram is young, and with Paul George and DeAndre Jordan, we will have one of the best starting lineups in the NBA, and $20 million dollars in salary cap space, so we can sign another All-Star player.
This is the only way how the Lakers can become a powerful franchise after they've missed 4 years of the playoffs. Believe me, I'm a Lakers fan and I know how unrealistic we are and why we always dream that LeBron/Durant will sign for us, but it's time to wake up and think what is realistic and how we can play our best basketball once again.
I really believe that Magic Johnson is a great leader for this franchise and probably one of few people in the NBA who can create the best moves and who can bring the championship to LA.
Only Twice In NBA History We've Seen This
The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are two of the most entertaining franchises in the NBA, because they are in a big market and because they are in Los Angeles.
Do you know how many times we haven't watched at least one team in the NBA Playoffs? I guess you don't know this information.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers both haven't made the playoffs during the same season only twice in NBA history, back in the 1993-94 and 2004-05 NBA seasons. After 12 consecutive seasons where we watched at least one of them in the postseason, this season won't feature a Los Angeles team, as the Clippers have lost Blake Griffin for 2 months, and the Lakers are not good enough for the 8th seed.
One more interesting note -- the Lakers (70 seasons) and Clippers (48 seasons) have never played against each other in the NBA Playoffs.