Teams continue to chase the Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe. It seems that Doc Rivers wants to coach Bledsoe, but there are at least five teams that have expressed interest in the 23-year-old who is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The Los Angeles Clippers have received trade inquiries for guard Eric Bledsoe from the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. Talks, however, have yet to reach the serious stage.
The Clippers might not be actively shopping Bledsoe anymore but the facts remain the same — the team will run a risk of losing him in next year’s free agency, and if a bidding war commences and if the Clippers get a chance to get rid of a bad contract and land an impact player for next season, one would assume that the team would at least consider the offer.
The Raptors just got rid of Andrea Bargnani and Masai Ujiri is already working his magic as the team’s new GM. If he could somehow swing a deal that would land Bledsoe in Toronto, the team would likely have to move Kyle Lowry or force him to come off the bench. Trading for Bledsoe to be the backup point guard wouldn’t really make much sense, and it would make justifying paying him big money next summer that much harder. What could Toronto offer in return? Perhaps DeMar DeRozan, although it’s questionable whether the Clippers would be interested.
The Magic and the Clippers pretty much had a deal in place for Bledsoe, which would have sent Arron Afflalo to LA. The deal has fallen apart and the Clippers are looking for a shooting guard in free agency instead, but Orlando would obviously love to add Bledsoe to the team’s youth movement.
The Bucks could lose their starting backcourt in free agency, and adding a young point guard would be a great idea. Bledsoe and Larry Sanders would be a great fit and Milwaukee would have a decent core to build around. The only two players that the Bucks could realistically trade would be John Henson and Ersan Ilyasova, and while Henson remains a good young prospect, the Clippers would probably not be very interested. A sign-and-trade involving Monta Ellis could potentially be a possibility.
The Pistons are looking to add some free agents and could re-sign Jose Calderon. However, if the team would be able to swing a deal for Bledsoe, it would make for a nice young core — Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe? Looks pretty promising to me.
Mavs won’t really actively engage in many trade talks or sign big-time free agents until the team knows whether Dwight Howard will join the team or not. It’s hard seeing the Mavericks offering the Clippers a better deal than the other candidates though.