LA Clippers: 3 looming questions following Rajon Rondo trade

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 30 (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 30 (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers: Luke Kennard
LA Clippers (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Second question following Rajon Rondo trade — Is it Luke Kennard time for the LA Clippers?

Although he had been having a down year, it shocked many that the LA Clippers parted ways with Lou Williams in the deal for Rondo. Williams, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner, was the sparkplug off LA’s bench offensively, now leaving them without that high-end scoring presence in the second unit.

Perhaps this move signals that the Clippers will give Luke Kennard a more prominent role in the rotation. LA made the surprising move this offseason after they handed Kennard a hefty four-year extension worth $64 million immediately after trading for him. It is safe to say that the signing has not panned out as they hoped, as Kennard’s minutes have decreased with each passing month this season.

However, despite playing just 15 minutes per game in March, Kennard is quietly putting together his best month yet with the Clippers. The guard is averaging 9.5 points in eight appearances while shooting 60 percent from the floor and an impressive 64 percent from deep, providing a boost offensively off LA’s bench.

Kennard also had his best game of the season in this stretch, scoring 20 points on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting from the floor in just 18 minutes in a recent win over the Hawks. The guard’s flawless performance struck a chord with his head coach Tyronn Lue, who spoke highly of him following the game. Transcribed by the Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Greif:

"“I am so happy for Luke Kennard just staying ready, the way he’s performed the last four games he’s played, he’s definitely earned — he’s earned something,” Lue said. “When he came into the locker room, the guys poured water all over him and jumped up and down for him. Everyone loves Luke.”"

With Williams no longer in the equation, it seems likely that Lue will give Kennard more run in the primary rotation, particularly after this string of solid performances in March. If he continues his recent stretch of production, the 24-year-old could be a solid spark in the second unit for a team that just lost arguably the greatest bench player in the history of the NBA.