LOS ANGELES -- Part of being a marquee team is constantly being in the rumor mill for superstar players and perhaps there’s no bigger sign of how far the Los Angeles Clippers have come in the perception department than the fact Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has included the Clippers in his short list of teams he would be open to be sent to via trade or perhaps sign with as a free agent.
Of course, this is nothing new. LeBron James had the Clippers on his short list before signing with the Miami Heat and the Clippers were on Chris Paul’s short list before he was eventually traded to the Clippers and paired with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to form “Lob City.”
As the March 15 trade deadline looms, however, there are rumors that “Lob City” might be broken up before it ever truly had a chance to become a major municipality.
ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard on Tuesday wrote that the Clippers would be wise to trade Griffin and Jordan to the Magic for Howard and Magic forward Ryan Anderson.
While trading for the league’s best big man and an emerging power forward and adding them to a team led by arguably the league’s best point guard makes sense on paper, science isn’t totally in agreement.
Our friends over at AccuScore ran 10,000 season simulations of the proposed trade and the Clippers (as you can see above) show only a minor improvement if the trade went down while the Magic (shown below) would not benefit from such a trade. The Clippers would increase their per game win percentage by +1% and the Magic would see a decline of -3%.
(These projected records include each team’s current records. If you just looked at the remaining games the Clippers increased their per game win percentage by +1% and the Magic saw a decline of -3%.)
The short-term positive impact for the Clippers from the trade simply isn’t worth the long-term loss of Griffin and Jordan for the rest of their careers and ruining the chemistry that is being developed with Paul.
Howard may want to come to Los Angeles, but it doesn’t seem like “Lob City” is a good fit at this time.