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Report: Clippers, Jazz talking Bledsoe for Millsap trade

Feb 17, 2013, 11:01 AM EDT

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers remain hesitant to deal young guard Eric Bledsoe — he’s a valuable part of the “tribe called bench” that has been a big part of Los Angeles’ success, plus he is their insurance at the point should Chris Paul unexpectedly decide to sign elsewhere this summer.

But as the offers get better and better near the deadline, it may be hard to keep saying no.

Like this report from Marc Stein and ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne that they are talking with the Jazz about Paul Millsap.

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 appeal of Millsap, by contrast, is he’d conceivably help the Clippers in the frontcourt immediately, as well as in the future because of his age (28). Utah’s interest in finding a good young point guard, meanwhile, is an open secret around the league that has led to longstanding speculation that either Millsap or Al Jefferson would be moved by the deadline, given that both are scheduled to become free agents such as Paul in July.

The report goes on to say that rival executives are saying that the Clippers don’t seem eager to move Bledsoe at the deadline and that may make any deal unlikely.

Plus, the Bledsoe and Millsap salaries are about $8 million apart so the Clippers would need to ad a player or players (someone like Caron Butler would work) to make the numbers match. But then the front office would really be messing with a roster they like. As a team executive said over the weekend, there is a lot of talent on the Clippers roster and it will be up to the coach to figure out how to win with it — the front office is putting the pressure on Vinny Del Negro.

For the Jazz, who desperately want a point guard, this kind of deal makes a lot of sense. They almost certainly will move Millsap or Jefferson before the deadline.

It also makes some basketball sense for the Clippers — if they are not going to trust DeAndre Jordan at the end of games (Lamar Odom has gotten some of his run) then Millsap would be an upgrade. Of course, he’s going to get a big pay raise this summer and there are questions about whether the Clippers would want to pay that and a max offer for CP3.

As for the Clippers reported idea of moving Bledsoe as part of a package for Kevin Garnett, both the Clippers have denied it and Garnett said he will use his no trade clause to block a move. So maybe we should all move on from that one.

  1. biasedhomer - Feb 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    This would make the Clipper the favorite to reach the Finals from the West.

  2. mgscott - Feb 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    NBA all star game on TNT and not on regular tv. Another reason why the NBA is nearing WWF status.

  3. kb2408 - Feb 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    That would be an excellent trade for both teams.

  4. bparmalee - Feb 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    If the Clippers trade Bledsoe and Butler (I don’t see how is just a throw in to make the numbers work) and they only get back Milsap…. it’s a terrible deal. Look at this logically…. Milsap is a 4 with no ability to play at the 3…… so how can they justify paying him a huge sum starting next season when they are committed to Jordan and Griffin long term? You can’t have a 9 million a year guy coming off your bench when you give up a starter and a solid rotation guy to get him. This would make the Clippers worse now and over the long run. The Clippers would be better off trying to replace Jordan with a better scorer in Brook Lopez… they have the pieces to get that done or take a chance on Josh Smith. Milsap would be a mistake.

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 17, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      I agree. All but the Josh Smith thing unless you plan on letting him play SF. Blake Griffin should never play C. Niether should Milsap or Smoove.

      This would be a horrible move by the Clippers. To have to risk losing Milsap as a free agent or pay up big $ just for a bench player would be ridiculous. I love Milsap and his game but to add an undersized backup PF would be foolish. Not to mention who would play backup PG to CP3? Willie Green? Can’t count on Chauncy, he has a fetish for getting hurt now late in his career.

      This doesn’t make them better now, OR in the future.

      • aarondommin - Feb 17, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        The trade makes a lot of sense. With the emergence of Barnes this year and Grant Hill healthy, Caron Butler is an unnecessary luxury. Especially when you look at next year and Butler making 8 mil. Looking at this year the Clippers end of game lineup can’t hold up against the Spurs (Duncan and Splitter) or OKC (Ibaka and Perkins) because Deandre and Blake are such liabilities at the free throw line. Millsap could pair with Blake and give them rebounding and energy in the frontcourt without sacrificing points at the line. Looking ahead, they could retain Barnes at half the price of Butler and get 90% of his value. With Bledsoe, they cant afford to resign Paul and match the offer he’s going to get in the offseason so he’s gone anyway. Millsap is the same luxury that Bledsoe is just at the PF spot which is a bigger need, since Deandre hasn’t progressed to a point where he is worth 10-12 mil/ yr.

    • jmclarkent - Feb 17, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Agreed. Tossing in Jordan and trading for Jefferson makes more sense. They get a post presence and a 5, opposed to a 4 who forces you to try and play Blake at the center (they’d be fast, but I am not sure if you can win with that lineup in the playoffs).

      I guess it could work in spurts with Milsap working as the 6th man – either way (as I have prayed for weeks) I love Bledsoe in SLC!

      • bparmalee - Feb 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        I’m a big Al Jefferson fan but he hasn’t really shown he can play for a winning team. That being said..if the Clippers are going to compete long term I do feel like Jordan has to go…. he just cost too much for his skill set. Al J… Lopez… Smith…. any of these guys would be an upgrade for about what Jordan makes. Also I disagree that Griffin shouldn’t play the 5….. the NBA is moving away from true centers… plus Smith at the 3 leads to launched 3′s. If the Clippers make the wrong deal and flame out in the playoffs… Chris Paul might rethink staying and that’s something the Clippers can’t let happen.

  5. savvybynature - Feb 17, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    If they got DeMare Carrol back too then I think it would definitely help the Clippers this year. Matt Barnes is more than capable of stepping into the starting lineup to replace Caron Butler, and Bledsoe isn’t going to help the Clippers much this postseason anyway (how many minutes you think they will give him instead of CP3, Crawford or Chauncey?).

  6. abchome - Feb 17, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Utah could certainly use Bledsoe, but how would the Clippers use Millsap? As an expensive backup to Griffin, or the most undersized starting center? It really doesn’t make sense.

  7. jcrileyesq - Feb 17, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    lopez and brooks for bledsoe and jordan. Clippers get a legit offensive post player who can shot 70% at the free throw line, and nets gets more athletic up front, and a legit backup point guard(at least for half a season)

    • Kevin S. - Feb 17, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      Yeah, the Nets are just dying to trade away the best offensive center in the game for a backup point guard and center who also belongs on the second unit. And I thought it was us Nets fans deluding ourselves about what value our assets could bring back.

  8. iamjimmyjack - Feb 17, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Don’t do it clippers. Cp3 may very well leave at the end of the year and in that case eb can b the starter. He is way more valuable than a 2 month rental of millsap. They don’t need another big man. If they don’t like dj so much than why the hell did they give him a 60 million dollar contract. Stupid gm and Donald sterling, get a clue.

    • psubeerman21 - Feb 17, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Let’s get something clear about Paul: he isn’t going to leave. The Clips can offer him the most money. The team is more than competitive and it’s in a great market. No other team has that to offer. Don’t worry about keeping the “insurance” plan around (Bledsoe), all he does now is rot on the bench. The same reason you don’t bring Milsap in, because he is going to rot on the bench, is the same reason you trade Bledsoe. Trade him for something to win now; this chance doesn’t come along that often.

  9. fanz928 - Feb 17, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Likely involving another team to acquire Josh smith

  10. chiefnofoldem - Feb 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    When are the Sixers going to make a trade. They should really keep T. Young and Holiday. Everyone else should go. What about Evan Turner and Hawes to the T-Wolves for Kevin Love.

  11. fanz928 - Feb 17, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Y would wolves trade love for 2 useless players ???

  12. kavika6 - Feb 19, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    Milsap and Chris Paul would get along anyway. Both whiners.

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