Sometimes doing nothing can be the best move.
The Clippers hope that’s the ultimate takeaway from keeping their roster intact at the trade deadline Thursday after failing to find an upgrade on the perimeter.
The team’s decision not to make any transactions means that shooting guard Jamal Crawford, the likely centerpiece of any trade, will remain a Clipper for the rest of the season.
Denver’s Arron Afflalo was traded Thursday, but not to the Clippers. The Nuggets sent the former UCLA shooting guard and Alonzo Gee to Portland for Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, Victor Claver and a lottery-protected 2016 first-round draft pick.
The Nuggets decided to keep small forward Wilson Chandler, another player the Clippers were believed to have targeted.
The Clippers’ efforts to bolster their team were complicated by a lack of assets. The team does not have a first-round draft pick it can trade before 2019 and is also limited by hovering close to the NBA’s hard salary cap.
The Clippers could still add a player bought out by another team to fill their open roster spot and provide depth with All-Star forward Blake Griffin sidelined until next month following elbow surgery. Players can be bought out of their contracts until March 1 and be eligible to play in the playoffs for another team.
One potential candidate to join the Clippers is veteran center Kendrick Perkins, who was traded from Oklahoma City to Utah and is expected to have his contract bought out. Perkins played alongside Clippers Coach Doc Rivers in Boston.
Kevin Garnett, one player the Clippers would have had interest in had he accepted a buyout, was instead traded by the Brooklyn Nets to the Minnesota Timberwolves after agreeing to waive his no-trade clause in a move that will allow the veteran to presumably finish his career with the team he once led to the Western Conference finals.
The Clippers (35-19) play their first game after the All-Star break on Thursday night at Staples Center against the San Antonio Spurs.