The trade talks for Eric Bledsoe, who was in the dunk contest for All-Star Saturday night are heating up a bit. The Clippers insist they wouldn’t trade him but with the trading deadline coming up, it seems to be more and more likely he’ll be in a different uniform by the time Thursday gets here. Here is a report from ESPN.Com through Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein.
Sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com late Saturday there is a level of mutual interest between the Clippers and Utah Jazz in exploring a deal that would feature Bledsoe as the headliner in a trade package for Jazz forward Paul Millsap.
The reason why the Clippers haven’t been so hot in including Bledsoe in a deal is because Chris Paul has not re-signed with the team yet. And he won’t do that until the season is over so that’s been a conundrum. Eventually, they’re going to have to let him go but as for this season? It’s harder for the Clips to do so.
Paul Millsap would be a great addition to the Clippers’ frontcourt that needs help. Right now, Lamar Odom is backing up Blake Griffin and Ryan Hollins is backing up DeAndre Jordan. It’d be nice to have one more option, especially one who is as good as Millsap, in the frontcourt. Beyond this year, though? Who knows? Millsap is a free agent and he’s probably going to demand some money. We’ll see if the Clippers pay up that cash, especially since they’re going to give Chris Paul the max.
As for Utah, they are looking for a point guard that could mix in with a young core of Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, and Enes Kanter. Mo Williams will be a free agent after this season.
Another problem for the Clippers? They would have to add another player to the mix so that the salaries can match. Are the Clippers willing to shake up their deep bench to add Millsap? That’s a tough call.
Eric Bledsoe was linked to a trade rumor that would bring Kevin Garnett to the Clippers. So far, though, Garnett has said he won’t waive no-trade clause for any team.