According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the LA Clippers have acquired Bones Hyland from the Denver Nuggets for their 2024 and 2025 second round picks:
Hyland, the 26th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, had a breakout rookie season in 2021-22 where he was named to the All-Rookie team and brought a useful scoring punch off of Denver’s bench, gathering hype for some highlight play including very high-degree-of-difficulty three-point shooting.
But Bones’ second season in Denver was underwhelming, as his assist-to-turnover ratio and efficiency on shots inside the three-point arc both decreased. On the defensive end of the floor, he has been an absolute disaster so far in his career, and the inconsistent offensive efficiency left him on the outside of Denver’s rotation in recent weeks. The Nuggets were 18.5 points per 100 possessions worse with Bones on the floor this season than off, a staggering number. Still, the upside of his scoring punch is notable: he has 7 games with 20 or more points in 41 appearances off the bench this season (and one 20-point game in his only start).
Overall, the Clippers’ need for a serious guard reshuffle created an opportunity for Hyland to find a place on this team as they shed multiple veteran guards who were outside of their rotation. It seems most likely that Bones is a future developmental piece as opposed to someone who will play a significant amount of minutes in the final stretch of this season and the 2023 NBA Playoffs. At 22 years old, he makes just 2.2 million this year and has 2 additional years remaining on his contract at $2.3M and $4.2M, giving the Clippers plenty of time to let him come along at his own pace. While he isn’t slated to be a major contributor this season, it’s an injection of youth and talent that the team sorely needs as they think about the medium-term timeline. I’m a fan of this upside play at the low cost of 2 future 2nd round picks.
Hit the comments below to share your thoughts on the Bones trade and how he fits into the new-look Clippers after their deadline moves!
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