The LA Clippers are facing a bit of a crisis themselves. After a strong start to the season, they have lost three straight games since trading for James Harden, losing ground quickly in a highly competitive Western Conference. Their top priority is figuring out how to integrate Harden with their other on-ball stars, but after that, they need to figure out what to do at backup center.
Ivica Zubac is a solid starter but itn’t a player they can lean on for 36 minutes per game, so having a steady backup is necessary. Mason Plumlee was brought back to fill that role this season but is now sidelined for an extended period due to a knee injury.
In their most recent game, the Clippers used a combination of two-way forward Moussa Diabate, 38-year-old (and 6’5″) P.J. Tucker, and even played a few minutes without a big on the court at all. They need a better option to fill some minutes behind Zubac, and Jones could be just the answer.
Jones has spent most of his career in the Pacific Division, playing for every team but the Clippers, so it would be a fitting landing spot. The Clippers have an open roster spot as well, so they could send some cash or a nominal asset back to the Cavaliers and just take him onto the roster as a minimum player. They could also send back Brandon Boston Jr. for the Cavs to take a flier on.
The Cavaliers would be better served by moving off of Jones and gaining an open roster spot to use in signing point guard depth. The Clippers and Grizzlies are both desperate enough for a backup center that they could be trade partners for the Cavs to consider.