Montrezl Harrell
For the first time maybe ever, the Clippers have a brighter future than the Lakers. How do #LakeShow and ClipperNation fans feel? (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Lakers have been the staple of Los Angeles basketball for what seems like forever. Kareem, Magic, Kobe, Wilt, Jerry West, the list goes on and on. The Clippers have been the black sheep step child in town. They play in the same arena and no one has ever taken them seriously. BUT… Things are changing.

Both the Lakers and Clippers have undergone/ (currently) rebuilds in recent years. The Lakers have stunk collecting top picks and the Clippers tore down Lob City for a more sustainable championship contender. If anything has become more clear this season, the Clippers are the team in Los Angeles that has the brighter future.

The Clippers best player this season was Tobias Harris. He was shipped out of town at the trade deadline. The Lakers best player is LeBron James. You would think by just those two sentences, that the Lakers are a 3 seed and the Clippers went full tank mode. That statement couldn’t be further from the truth. The Clippers currently hold the 7th seed in the West. The Lakers sit at 11th and 3 games back of the final playoff spot.

While neither team can win a title this year, the Clippers are the team that has the brighter future. The Clips have 2 max free agent slots available this summer. One of them will likely go to Kawhi Leonard who seems destined to land in Clipper land. The other could go to anyone who wants to join the Klaw. That man could be Kevin Durant? Think about this. Durant wants to be viewed as better than LeBron. While I already believe that’s been the case for a while, most morons don’t view him that way. What’s a better way to show dominance over LeBron than to dominate him in the same building? It’s a thought he should be having.

On the flip side, there isn’t a star player alive outside of Anthony Davis that has any interest in playing with LeBron. The Lakers do have a max slot available but there doesn’t appear to be any takers. Again, how could you blame anyone after the mess that’s going on this season.

This one may even seem like a stretch but I love the young players that the Clippers have in place. If you were to rank the players 25 and under on both rosters, the list would probably look something like this.

  • 1: Montrezl Harrell
  • 2: Brandon Ingram
  • 3: Kyle Kuzma
  • 4: Landry Shamet
  • 5: Josh Hart
  • 6: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • 7: Ivica Zubac
  • 8: Moritz Wagner
  • 9: Jerome Robinson
  • 10: Sindarius Thornwell

6 of the players on that list are Clippers and two of them are super important. Montrezl Harrell is turning into one of the best big men in the league, let alone young players. The former Louisville alum is a problem. He’s big, nasty, and will dunk on you with no regard for your well being. Harrell is averaging 16.3 points, 1.4 blocks, 6.5 rebounds, on .628 shooting. That’s currently on a bench role.

You also have Landry Shamet who is quietly turning into the long term point guard option. Philadelphia will regret giving him away. Shamet was Philadelphia’s first-round pick this year from Wichita State. He has the number one 3-point shooting percentage (40.6) by any rookie in the entire league. He’s a special player and is getting no attention. It also helps that they got the 2021 Miami unprotected pick along with Shamet in the Tobias deal.

I’m a big fan of Brandon Ingram. I like him more than most do. I even think Kyle Kuzma is good. The problem is they will not return to the Lakers roster one way or another. LeBron will get his way and whip those guys off the roster. Whether it’s a trade of whatever, you can probably book that those two guys are goners.

The Clippers not only have the brighter future, they are the franchise that isn’t dealing with dysfunction on a daily basis. Well run businesses aren’t leaking information constantly or caught in the news cycle all the time. Jerry West is turning the Clippers into the desired Los Angeles franchise. Can you imagine if they make the playoffs with a roster full of just grinders? What happens if they add two stars to that mix?