The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Los Angeles Clippers, who will lean on Paul George to carry the franchise forward with Kawhi Leonard sidelined due to an ACL injury.
Los Angeles Clippers 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: Keon Johnson, Justise Winslow
Johnson has tremendous potential as a rookie and was projected to go early in the lottery at points during the pre-draft process. Winslow is a lottery pick who hasn’t panned out, but could be successful in a lesser role with the Clippers. Both players should be rotation players immediately in LA.
Key departures: Patrick Beverley
Beverley brings a toughness and grit tough to quantify, but his production on the court was nothing to write home about. The Clippers will have to find a new irritant along the perimeter defensively, but Beverley’s loss won’t be big if Reggie Jackson keeps up his form from the end of the season.
The Clippers expect to make the playoffs, although it’ll be a challenge with the middle of the West getting better and a handful of desperate teams primed to make poor long-term decisions for a short-term gain. LA doesn’t control its draft pick, so there’s no real incentive to “tank” down the stretch of the season. Expect the Clippers to be in the play-in tournament at worst.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Reggie Jackson
In the eight playoff games Leonard missed last year, Jackson averaged 21.4 points, 4.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from deep. Jackson has said the run with LA saved his career, and the Clippers brought him back in the offseason. He’s the lead guard again and could put up big numbers, like he did in Detroit. In six seasons with the Pistons, Jackson averaged 16.2 points and 5.6 assists per game. He will provide good depth in fantasy leagues and a potential value play in DFS lineups.