According to Shams Charania, the Clippers are looking at trading for the Pacers' Daniel Theis after losing Mason Plumlee to injury for the next two months. After trading for James Harden, L.A.'s main need is size and players with good rebounding skills. While not an elite rebounder by any means, Theis fits both of these demands. Theis has not played many minutes for Indiana this season and could come at a very cheap price.
L.A. has gone 0-2 in their first two games with Harden in the lineup. Of course, the team will get better between now and then but it is apparent that this team needs size going forward if they want to compete for an NBA title this season. With that in mind, it's important to look at what a potential deal could do for both sides.
What would the Clippers trade to the Pacers for Daniel Theis?
Theis doesn't command a lot of salary and will most likely only cost something like two second-round picks. The tricky part about this deal is that the Clippers don't exactly have matching salaries to get a deal done. The Clippers could easily get this deal done by offering Mason Plumlee and other players but that wouldn't be that much of an upgrade and wouldn't make much sense unless Plumlee's injury is worse than reported.
L.A. could offer a package of Amir Coffey and Brandon Boston Jr. for Theis but that leaves the team missing $5 million of matching money in a deal. Adding Kobe Brown to the deal gets the team a lot closer to the finish line. But it's hard to justify the team giving up a 2023 first-round draft pick for a back-end rotational player.
This team is clearly missing rebounding but the team could probably go in other directions that don't take in a world where the team has to take in so much salary. After the James Harden trade, the team is practically forced to look on the buyout market for a big. Of course, if Theis continues to get DNPs, this could be a situation where the veteran gets offered a buyout. The team doesn't owe him any money after this season (they have a team option which they would decline in that situation).
This is an interesting situation to continue to look at as the season goes on as the Theis could end up being a Clipper by the end of the season. Whether it's before Plumlee returns from injury or not, this could be a way for L.A to get the size that they most likely need.