The Los Angeles Clippers blowing a three-games-to-one lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals had the NBA world buzzing this week.
Many, including yours truly, believed the Clippers were the best team entering the NBA playoffs and the favorites to win the NBA title. However, a bad Game 7 for Kawhi Leonard, and poor play from Paul George throughout the series, as well as their complimentary stars, doomed the team in the end.
It is probably too early to assume the Clippers will want to blow up their roster and start again. They are immensely talented and can still figure out the right minor changes to try to ensure better chemistry next season. Besides, they also invested a lot of draft capital and young talent in order to assemble their super-team.
Being in the same division, and probably close competitors for the title next season, makes it rather unlikely the Warriors and Clippers could agree on a trade. But that is not to say that they will not analyze each other's rosters and look for ways to upgrade their situations.
NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh believes that one player on the Clippers stands out above the rest.
"When you're the Golden State Warriors looking at that roster, the first name that pops into my head is Patrick Beverley," Haberstroh told NBC Sports Bay Area. "You need a backcourt defender, a guy that is very intense."
"I think defensively they need to upgrade in their backcourt, and ease the burden from Klay Thompson, coming back from the ACL injury. You can start Patrick Beverley or bring him off the bench."
Beverley is known for his fiery personality and all-out intensity on the court. He also is an accomplished defender that has made an NBA All-Defense team three times, and has become a reliable 3-point shooter, making over 38 percent of his attempts in each of the last five seasons.
The 32-year-old guard is owed $27 million over the next two seasons, so his contract would work with the Warriors trade exception. Everything seems perfect on paper, but one question does remain.
"The only question is whether he fits with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson personality-wise, or is his personality so big that it is just not going to work well with that organization," Haberstroh explained.
Bringing in a personality as large as Beverley might also be risky to add to a team that already has Draymond Green. But if the Warriors had the chance to add someone of Beverley's pedigree, then it is almost certain they would be intrigued.
However, the likelihood that the Clippers part with someone so integral to their team defense is rather low. There is a reason why other contenders, like the Warriors, would desire adding Beverley, and that is the same reason why Los Angeles would be ill-advised to give him up.
If the Clippers feel like they need to change the chemistry and culture in the locker room, though, you can never count out a possibility that Beverley is made available.