In a shocking turn of events, the LA Clippers have reportedly acquired point guard Eric Bledsoe from the Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers have been desperately looking for a replacement for guard Chris Paul, who is currently sidelined by a knee injury. This is the first time the Clippers have been active during the trade deadline, and this move was met with mixed reactions from fans and analysts.
The Los Angeles Clippers acquired NBA point guard Eric Bledsoe from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard Patrick Beverley, guard Rajon Rondo and a second-round pick. The Clippers also will trade guard Daniel Oturu to the Grizzlies.
The LA Clippers are pleased to announce that they have acquired guard Eric Bledsoe from the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade that will see the Clippers send guard/forward Patrick Beverley, forward/guard/forward Rajon Rondo, and center Daniel Oturu to the Grizzlies. Please click here to read the full press release.
According to ESPN, the Los Angeles Clippers are selling guard Eric Bledsoe to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo, and Daniel Oturu.
The Clippers will save $30 million in luxury tax as a result of the transaction, as well as a $8.3 million traded player exception that they will enjoy for a year.
Bledsoe, 31, was selected by the Clippers in 2010 and played with them for the first three years of his career. Bledsoe, a two-time NBA All-Defensive team member, is anticipated to play a key part in the Clippers’ guard rotation.
The move provides the Grizzlies salary cap flexibility in the summer of 2022, when Bledsoe’s contract expires and he is guaranteed $3.9 million of his $19.3 million salary. According to reports, Memphis now has 16 guaranteed contracts and will be open to deals for some of the players returning in this deal. The Grizzlies are open-minded about how they all fit in, but Memphis already has a full roster.
Beverley played the last four years of his career with the Clippers, where he was a beloved player. In the Western Conference playoffs, he lost his starting position to guard Reggie Jackson. Both Beverley ($14.3 million) and Rondo ($7.5 million) have contracts that will expire in 2020-21.
Oturu was the 33rd overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft and has been impressing in the Clippers’ NBA Summer League. Prior to the July draft, New Orleans traded Bledsoe to the Grizzlies to free up salary cap space, and Memphis had been trying to find a new home for him.
Bledsoe appeared in 81 games as a rookie, starting 25 of them, but the Clippers signed Chris Paul the next season, limiting Bledsoe’s minutes. Bledsoe was dealt to Phoenix after three seasons with the Clippers. In 2016-17, he had his finest season in Phoenix, averaging 21.1 points and 6.3 rebounds.
The next season, he was moved to Milwaukee, but in November of 2020, he was transferred to New Orleans in a four-team transaction that brought Jrue Holiday to the Bucks. In 71 games last season, Bledsoe averaged 12.2 points and 3.8 assists.
He’ll join a Clippers club that re-signed Jackson in free agency after his postseason success. With Kawhi Leonard likely to miss a considerable amount of time this season as he recovers from surgery to repair a partly torn ACL, Bledsoe provides the Clippers with a player who has appeared in 71 games or more in three of the previous four seasons.
Beverley was a fan favorite in Los Angeles because of his defense and effort, and he was an emotional leader for the Clippers when they surprised everyone by making the playoffs in 2018-19. Due to injury, Beverley was only able to participate in 37 games last season.
Last season, Rondo was acquired from Atlanta for Lou Williams and two second-round selections at the trade deadline. Rondo was expected to provide leadership and playoff playmaking for the Clippers, but he only appeared in 13 playoff games and was left out of Ty Lue’s playoffs rotation during the team’s journey to the Western Conference Finals.
Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN contributed to this story.
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