The LA Clippers are humming right along this season. They are 24-12, behind only the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference. While they have performed well this season, the Clippers have been mentioned in NBA trade rumors to be making some calls on the trade market.
It is an open secret that the Clippers are shopping Lou Williams. Some within the front office wouldn’t be opposed to moving on from Patrick Beverley as well. One player that could be acquired for part of that duo is former Clipper, Eric Bledsoe.
Bledsoe is playing his first season with the New Orleans Pelicans but has proven to be a bit of an awkward fit. He isn’t a great fit alongside Lonzo Ball and the Pelicans used a first-round pick on Kira Lewis as well in 2020 after selecting Nickeil Alexander-Walker in 2019. While Bledsoe is under contract through 2023, he may not be a long-term fit for New Orleans.
In this trade idea, Bledsoe heads back to the Clippers, the team that he began his career with back in 2010. Heading back to New Orleans would be Beverley, Terance Mann and Mfiondu Kabengele.
Bledsoe is having a great season shooting the ball, knocking down 39.4 percent of his 3-point attempts. While a notch below Beverley’s percentage this season, that kind of marksmanship would fit well alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Bledsoe also brings some more playmaking to the table compared to Beverley but leaves a hole defensively.
For the Pelicans, this is a deal that could help a young team get to the next level. The team has the second-worst defensive rating in the league this season, something Beverley would help improve. He, along with Ball, would give New Orleans a strong defensive pairing in the backcourt.
In Mann and Kabengele, the Pelicans are getting two intriguing pieces. Mann took full advantage of his opportunities this season and pushed into a rotation spot with LA. Kabengele has yet to be given his opportunity but presents an intriguing blend of shooting and shot-blocking based on his collegiate and summer league performances.
Trading away two rotation pieces for someone such as Eric Bledsoe could be too rich for the Clippers. They may focus on moving Williams before Beverley, and if a deal doesn’t materialize, will wait for the buyout market to add to their roster.