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Vinny Del Negro sees trade rumors surrounding Eric Bledsoe as a positive

Jan 20, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT


When Chris Paul missed three straight games for the Clippers with a bruised right kneecap, the team didn’t miss him nearly as much as you might have thought. That’s because they have an athletic and capable backup in Eric Bledsoe, who started in place of Paul and had two above average performances in helping L.A. win all three games that Paul was forced to sit.

There have been rumblings around the league that a trade might be a possibility for Bledsoe, considering how much he could help other teams and the overall depth of this Clippers roster. The chatter hasn’t come from the Clippers, however, who have no intention of doing anything to mess with a team that’s played so well to start the season.

Players can handle trade talk in a variety of ways, but Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro says that those rumors should be viewed as a positive, not a distraction.

From Phil Collin of the Los Amgeles Daily News:

“A lot of guys’ names will come up, but that’s a good thing,” Del Negro said Saturday. “That means people want you. That’s a positive thing.

“There’ll be all these rumors out there and things being said, and most of them probably won’t be very accurate. As guys’ names are out there, we’ll discuss things with them if there’s anything to it or whatever. I don’t see that being an issue for us. We’ve got pretty good balance on that and obviously, I’m always available.”

Bledsoe has averaged right around 17-18 minutes per game backing up Paul at the point guard spot, but those minutes are going to be even tougher to come by once Chauncey Billups eventually returns from injury.

That doesn’t necessarily make Bledsoe expendable, but you can believe the rumors will continue to swirl around him until the Feb. 21 trade deadline has passed.

  1. jerdogthompson - Jan 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    EB is going no where this year. He’s our insurance policy against CP3 not signing (although he will). But I presume next year EB will get traded for some good draft picks unfortunately. Just imagine, had the Clippers not traded up with OKC then imagine just how much better that team would be.

  2. mat9844 - Jan 20, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Bledsoe is an integral part of what makes this team so dynamic – Clips team humming along like a fine piece of machinery. No way would they mess with that.

  3. adiddie - Jan 20, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Did Bledsoe come by way of the t’wolves? (Marco Jaric trade)

  4. jimsjam33 - Jan 20, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    After this season it’s time to part ways with Chauncey Billups . He played 20 games in 2011-12 and only 3 games this season . He has slowed down with age and his body is subject to injury . We can’t keep busting up a lineup because of his successful past with the Pistons . Willie Green deserves to start and Bledsole is much more active than Billups on defense .
    Billups should ask out of his contract for the good of the team . Too many good players and not enough playing time . Grant Hill should also consider opting out as his playing time comes at the expense of Matt Barnes , Jamal Crawford , and LaMar Odom . At 40 years old he’s a step slower and he can’t even dunk anymore ( Wizard Game example ) .
    We need bench players who sit and don’t complain like Hollins, Turiaf , and Thompkins because they won;t be playing much at playoff time . Billups and Hill are legends , but way past their prime .

  5. dko83 - Jan 20, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    How quickly Clips fans forget Donald Sterling is their owner. They would be CRAZY to trade him, but isn’t Sterling Crazy?

    Come on Vinny, that’s just dumb. Ask the players involved in trade rumors if they feel like it’s a good thing…

  6. abchome - Jan 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    I have to say Eric Bledsoe looks much better than this “mug” shot. He really don’t know how to smile…LOL

  7. progress2011 - Jan 21, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    Trade him and get a pick or two !

    When Chauncey comes back…he won’t get any run during the playoffs when the rotations shrink to 8 players !

    He DEFINITELY won’t get any of Jamals minutes !

    But the Clips are so LOADED at every position…I don’t see them having any real needs.

    Because the Clips don’t have the treasure chest the other L.A. team has, if they can trade Bledsoe and pick up a few high 1st round picks….they would be building a future dynasty, where they are just re-loading every year.

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