Jun 25, 2013, 9:05 PM EDT
That trade talk appears to be picking up steam as we head toward the draft, according to a tag team report at ESPN.
The Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers have been discussing the possibility of completing a trade headlined by Magic shooting guard Arron Afflalo and prized L.A. point guard Eric Bledsoe in conjunction with Thursday’s NBA draft, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that a trade with those two players as the principles could happen as soon as this week and potentially could be expanded to include Magic forward Andrew Nicholson and a future first-round pick as compensation for the highly coveted Bledsoe.
My take is the Nicholson and future first round pick are what the Clippers want out of this deal, not what is actually on the table. The Clippers think they have leverage here because new coach Doc Rivers is a Bledsoe fan. That’s what they are selling.
But the Clippers know their roster needs upgrades to be the contenders they are expected to be with Doc Rivers and Bledsoe is a key trade asset to get some of that talent.
Afflalo would be a great fit for the Clippers — he brings needed perimeter defense at the two and floor spacing shooting (career 38.3 percent from three, last season that number dropped because he was forced to create more offense for the shorthanded Magic, that will not be an issue in Los Angeles). Afflalo is a fit and an upgrade that is perfect for Los Angeles.
The Magic want to build with good young players and Bledsoe fits that better than Jameer Nelson does. Much better.
The Clippers have been hesitant to make a move with Bledsoe until Chris Paul re-signed, he was sort of the insurance policy in case CP3 bolted; but with Doc Rivers signed the Clippers rightfully feel confident in CP3’s return.
To make the numbers work out, Caron Butler likely would be headed to Orlando. Other pieces may or may not be added.
This may happen by the draft, or it may be a few weeks, but this remains the most likely trade for Bledsoe.
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