It looks like Eric Bledsoe continues to be one of the most sought after players in the NBA trade talks this summer, as the Toronto Raptors become the next team trying to get their hands on the point guard, offering Andrea Bargnani and possibly DeMar DeRozan to sweeten the deal.
The Clippers are looking to move Bledsoe, who has proven he might be the best backup point guard in the NBA last season, on a very favorable one-year deal worth $2.6 million left on his contract. The Raptors are stuck with a bad team, and an even worst salary cap situation, currently owing $72.9 million against the cap next season.
Andrea Bargnani is someone they’ve been wanting to move for quite some time. He hasn’t been playing like he wants to stay in Toronto, and his contract ($10.75 million next season, and another one on an early termination clause worth$11.5 million) doesn’t make him very movable, as a big man who can score but not do anything else too well.
The Clippers want a wing player, preferably one who can hit three pointers from the corner. However, of all the pieces the Raptors have to offer, DeRozan is the one they’re the most interested in. DeRozan isn’t the shooter they need (hitting only 28.3% of his three-point shots last season), but he did average 18.1 points per game, and it seems that having both him and Rudy Gay on the same team doesn’t work at all.
But for the Clippers, DeRozan and his contract (which is a $9.5 million a year for the next four seasons) doesn’t necessarily make sense. The Clippers already have Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan who spend plenty of time in the paint and near the rim. DeRozan is another player who keeps working to find his way to the inside, and the Clippers need someone who can improve their spacing situation.
There are still some things to be worked out in this deal. The Raptors might send more pieces, and the Clippers will have to include something else in order to make the trade to work, but at the moment, with Toronto really interested in Bledsoe and the Clippers not turning down a trade package that includes Andrea Bargnani in it, there’s still hope this one can be worked out.
The Clippers are also talking to the Magic regarding Arron Afflalo in a deal that will also include Caron Butler, but it seems it’s a wide open race for the services of Eric Bledsoe. The Clippers want a shooting guard who can spread the floor and guard, but DeRozan offers them something else, and considering their current offers, maybe going for the explosive swingman might be the most lucrative offer on the table.