Charlotte Hornets: Los Angeles Clippers players to target in free agency

Apr 15, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac (40) and forward Nicolas Batum (33) react following the loss against the New Orleans Pelicans in the play in game at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 15, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac (40) and forward Nicolas Batum (33) react following the loss against the New Orleans Pelicans in the play in game at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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As a part of our series detailing which players the Charlotte Hornets should target in free agency, our attention shifts to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers finished with a 42-40 record, which earned them an 8th-place finish in the Western Conference. Despite taking the 8th spot in the regular season standings, LA lost back-to-back play-in games and failed to make the playoffs.

With Paul George and Kawhi Leonard ready to blitz the league next season, the Clips will be better in 2022-23 than they were this season. That being said, they have a number of players entering free agency. Most of these players were key pieces in their 2021-22 rotation, and a great deal of them would look good in the teal and white for Charlotte.

LA has one club option and one player option heading their way in the offseason. Ivica Zubac’s team option should be picked up. As the squad’s starting center, he should be brought back in the final year of a team-friendly deal. If his option is declined, look for the Hornets to swoop in and offer a decent contract.

Nicolas Batum has the lone player option, and his decision will be an interesting one. While he can get a better contract on the open market, he has found a niche role on a team with championship aspirations. At this point in his career, Batum may take the title odds over an increase in base salary on a bottom-dwelling team.

Jay Scrubb, Xavier Moon, Moses Wright, and Amir Coffey are all wing players entering restricted free agency in 2022. The Clippers should bring back most if not all of these guys. Either way, the Hornets should not be interested here.

Finally, the Clippers’ unrestricted free agents are Robert Covington, Rodney Hood, and Isaiah Hartenstein. We already have our opinions on signing Covington. Hood is too much of a defensive liability to fit in Charlotte.

Hartenstein, however, could join the Hornets next season. I like his game quite a bit. As a backup center, he produces great low-minute numbers. He can score efficiently, bring the heat on defense, and pass well for a big man. His athleticism would fit the Hornets’ system fantastically.

When all is said and done, I see the Hornets taking a stab at several Clippers players in the offseason. Between Covington, Hartenstein, and Zubac, there is a lot of defensive talent at positions Charlotte needs to upgrade.

Next. San Antonio Spurs players to target in free agency. dark