This article is part of our NBA Team Previews series.
2022-23 Los Angeles Clippers Team Preview
It was a relatively quiet offseason for the Clippers. Los Angeles' main loss was Isaiah Hartenstein signing with the Knicks. The front office made up for it by inking Moses Brown and John Wall, plus re-signing Ivica Zubac, Robert Covington and Nicolas Batum.
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2021-22 Record: 42-40; lost in play-in tournament
2022-23 NBA Win Total Odds: 52.5 wins (DraftKings)
2022-23 NBA Title Odds: +550 (DraftKings)
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Check out our 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Projections, customizable for your league settings.
Los Angeles Clippers Fantasy Basketball Preview
Many anticipated that George would have a monster campaign sans Kawhi Leonard last season, but those who used a prime fantasy draft pick on him were sorely disappointed. Sure, many of the veteran's per-game stats (24.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2.2 steals) were up slightly, but George also shot just 42.1 percent from the field and committed a career-high 4.1 turnovers per contest. Far worse, he again had trouble staying on the court, playing in just 31 games due to an elbow injury that sidelined him for three months. To his credit, George returned for a handful of contests late in the season and put up big numbers, but he was forced to miss the Clippers' second play-in game while in health and safety protocols, and Los Angeles ultimately failed to qualify for the playoffs. George has now played in under 60 percent of regular-season contests in his three seasons in Los Angeles, so the injury risk must be considered seriously if you target him for your fantasy squad. Leonard is expected to be back to full health for the coming campaign, which will take some of the load off George's shoulders and should help him register better efficiency and fewer turnovers. There's little doubt that George is a fantasy stud when he's on the court, but you're justified in looking elsewhere if durability is what you're after in the early rounds of your fantasy drafts.
After tearing his ACL late in the 2020-21 campaign, Leonard was given an initial return timetable for February 2021, but he never saw the floor last season. The cautious approach is understandable, given Leonard's extensive injury history. He's appeared in 70-plus games just twice in his decade-long career, and he's topped out at 60 games since leaving San Antonio for the 2018-19 season with Toronto, where he won an NBA title. In addition to the Clippers' staff, fantasy managers should also exercise caution with Leonard. The veteran playing more than 60 games would be considered a win, which makes him a tough player to roster. He'll presumably be sitting out plenty of back-to-back sets, which sets him up for significant missed time before the possibility of injury is considered. When available, he's productive -- there's no question about that. He's finished as a top-10 fantasy asset on a per-game basis in six consecutive seasons (discounting 2017-18 when he played nine games and last year when he didn't play at all). The two-time Finals MVP is one of the best two-way players in the NBA, and during his 109 appearances with LA, he's averaged 26.0 points on 49/39/89 shooting, 6.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.5 blocks. Drafting Leonard is a massive risk/reward game, but he shouldn't make it past the third round, given his talent.
Zubac became the Clippers' full-time starting center last season, and he put together a career year with Kawhi Leonard out for the entire campaign. In 24.4 minutes per game, Zubac averaged 10.3 points on 62.6 percent shooting, 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.5 combined blocks-plus-steals. He's one of the better offensive rebounders in the NBA, with his 12.1 offensive rebounding percentage (4.2 ORB per 36 minutes) ranking in the 84th percentile for big men. Overall, the center ranked 131st in per-game fantasy production, making him a viable bench option in standard leagues, with center being a position of scarcity. Given Zubac's chance of being the Clippers' only center on the roster after training camp, he boasts a sturdy floor for next season. It's unlikely he sees minutes in the high-20s to low-30s consistently, however, as the team projects to often utilize small-ball lineups with Robert Covington, Marcus Morris or Nicolas Batum at center. Ultimately, fantasy managers should expect Zubac to be a back-end center option in most formats, though he's better suited for deep leagues given his minimal upside.
Los Angeles Clippers Depth Chart for 2022-23
Click ahead for a detailed LA Clippers Depth Chart
- PG: John Wall, Reggie Jackson
- SG: Paul George, Norman Powell
- SF: Kawhi Leonard, Luke Kennard
- PF: Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris
- C: Ivica Zubac, Robert Covington
Los Angeles Clippers Predictions for 2022-23
The Clippers still managed to win 42 games last season with Kawhi Leonard shelved and Paul George appearing in just 31 tilts -- a testament to Tyronn Lue's coaching. Healthy seasons from George and Leonard could vault this team to great heights. The Clippers are also arguably the deepest team in the NBA, which gives them a high regular-season floor to go with their championship upside.
- Loses in NBA Finals
Norman Powell wins Sixth Man of the Year
NBA Award Contenders