Clippers agree to trade Wes Johnson to Pelicans for Alexis Ajinca, per report
The Clippers will then subsequently waive Ajinca, along with Jawun Evans, to get down to 15 players by Monday's deadline
Most of the focus on the NBA this week is understandably on opening night, and the fact that we have actual games in just over 24 hours. But before we can get there, teams have to finalize their rosters, getting down to 15 players by Monday evening. That means cuts, but for the Clippers and Pelicans, it also means a trade.
According to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Clippers have agreed to trade Wes Johnson to the Pelicans in exchange for Alexis Ajinca. The big man's time with the Clips will be shortlived, however, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the team plans to waive Ajinca, along with Jawun Evans, in order to get down to 15 players.
Considering the Clippers' plans to waive Ajinca, there really isn't much to talk about with this deal from their perspective. They just wanted to clear a roster spot, and by flipping Johnson for Ajinca, then waiving the big man instead of the wing, the Clips can save almost a million bucks.
As for the Pelicans, though, this is an interesting pickup for them. They've been notoriously thin at the wing in the past few seasons, especially since the Solomon Hill signing hasn't really worked out they way they were hoping it would. Now, Johnson isn't exactly an All-Star, but he's a solid rotation player, and should be able to give them some meaningful minutes. At this point in the season, there weren't many options for adding to your roster, and picking up a serviceable veteran wing for essentially nothing is good work by the Pelicans.
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