Friday, February 8, 2013
Why Clippers must trade Bledsoe
By Tom Carpenter
For decades, the Los Angeles Clippers looked to the future because there was no sense in looking at the present. However, things have changed now that they have a good team and plans to run deep into the playoffs. There is much to savor about the present, but what about the future of the Clippers? Can they maintain a competitive roster going forward?
Of course, re-signing free-agent Chris Paul this summer will be paramount. Presumably, that will require giving CP3 a max contract, which will push the Clippers up against the salary cap and luxury tax going forward. With that in mind, ESPN NBA Insider Amin Elhassan believes they will have to trade CP3's backup, Eric Bledsoe:
Amin ElhassanClips built for long-term success?
"The need to fill out the roster economically, the dearth of young talent, and the lack of room for growth for Bledsoe all bring the Clippers to the inevitable conclusion that they will have to move him for a package of young prospects and/or draft picks. As the team payroll inflates, it will become more critical to fill out the roster efficiently, and there's no talent pool more cost efficient than players on rookie scale deals. The Clippers own all of their first-round picks moving forward (which figure to be in the lower third of the draft), but they have conditional obligations on all their second round picks for the next four drafts, so getting additional picks should be a paramount demand in any Bledsoe deal. Top priorities should be acquiring an athletic, scoring wing, a defensive wing who can also space the court, a high efficiency/high rebounding backup big, and a young backup point guard who can be groomed much like Bledsoe was."