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#pounditWednesday, September 28, 2022

Key Clippers free agent hinting at return to team?

Tyronn Lue looking on

Nov 19, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LA Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue looks on against New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Christmas may be coming a bit early for the LA Clippers this year.

Clippers star forward Paul George shared a photo to Instagram on Monday of a workout that he had with his teammates. Included in the picture were Isaiah Hartenstein, Terance Mann, Jason Preston, Brandon Boston Jr., Robert Covington, and Reggie Jackson.

Possibly the most noteworthy of all those players was Hartenstein, who was also wearing a Clippers shirt in the photo. Several Clippers writers believed that the presence of Hartenstein, who is an unrestricted free agent this summer, was significant.

Hartenstein, 24, quietly emerged as a massive rotation piece for the Clippers this past season. The seven-footer was their best big off the bench, providing defense, rebounding, playmaking, and an automatic floater to help anchor the second unit. Hartenstein even shot the three-ball at an absurd 46.7 percent (albeit on low volume).

The Clippers have championship aspirations for next season and were even just linked to a potential trade for one big-name star. But bringing back a steady rock like Hartenstein would be one underrated way for them to increase their chances of taking home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

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