Offseason grades for Los Angeles Lakers and their West foes

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Clippers: B+

Let’s not sugarcoat it. Losing Harrell just to see him go absolutely nowhere and stay in Los Angeles to play for the Lakers after the Clipper catastrophe and ensuing Lakers title stings. Really stings.

It’s a pretty big indictment on the heavily criticized leadership of Kawhi, Paul George, Lou Williams, and Pat Beverly, though the interest in retaining Harrell is unknown, going to the crosstown rival is pretty telling.

However, in the aftermath of that juicy signing Lawrence Frank and Steve Ballmer made quite the save to give the Clippers a very good offseason grade. Most notably, going out and signing Serge Ibaka. A sizable upgrade from Harrell in terms of perimeter and interior scoring repertoire, height, and deep playoff experience.

The Clips also signed Luke Kennard. The former Dukie is coming off a season averaging 15 points, four assists, and 89% free throw shooting. Any NBA team can benefit from that production at the wing spot. He and fellow wing and instant offensive spark in Marcus Morris resigning should fit nicely with Kawhi and ‘PG’.

Lastly, second-round draft pick who surprisingly fell out of the first in former Minnesota Golden Gopher center Daniel Oturu may help fill a glaring need for ‘LAC’. A good athlete and strong defender at 6’10, 240 lbs is noteworthy for a small Clipper team who has ‘AD’ and the Joker looming as the opposition.

Yes, though 2020 has changed mostly everything existing, the Clippers are still very much in the Lakers’ shadow. However, they’re not as hunted as they were this past year and should be hungry. With this solid offseason, they’re the most legitimate title contender behind the Lakers next year.