The Los Angeles Clippers are trading Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and Daniel Oturu to the Memphis Grizzlies for guard Eric Bledsoe, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 16, 2021
The Los Angeles Clippers Acquire Eric Bledsoe
Analyzing the Move for the Clippers
The Clippers have a roster capable of winning a championship. With that being said, Kawhi Leonard will miss much of the season. Due to this, the Clippers are prioritizing adding other scorers and playmakers.
Bledsoe falls into this mold. Last season, he averaged 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game with the New Orleans Pelicans. His numbers were way down compared to years prior, but he was also an unnatural fit for the Pelicans alongside Lonzo Ball. Now, he returns to the first NBA team he ever played for.
Beverley and Rondo are solid rotation pieces. Beverley brings defense, while Rondo brings playmaking. Neither, however, can be relied upon to score. Bledsoe comes in to help Paul George and the cast while Leonard is out.
This move isn’t a surprise when looking at the Clippers’ other moves. Brining back Reggie Jackson was a must. He’s a proven starter with the ability to get buckets. Justise Winslow is a reclamation project, but one that may pay dividends. Lastly, trading for Keon Johnson in the NBA Draft was all about adding athleticism and burst for the time that Leonard is out.
Analyzing the Move for the Grizzlies
Memphis acquired Bledsoe when they traded Jonas Valanciunas to the Pelicans for Bledsoe and Steven Adams. The move was odd, with Ja Morant as the team’s point guard. Clearly, the Grizzlies had a future deal in mind, but this current one remains a tad mind-boggling.
They are offloading one point guard for two. Beverley and Rondo are also veterans for win-now teams, and the Grizzlies are not quite at that level yet. Even more than that, Memphis already has quality point guard depth with De’Anthony Melton and Tyus Jones.
On a surface level, the Grizzlies now have a ton of backcourt depth and a couple of veterans that may help Morant’s development.
Oturu is a young prospect, but it’s hard to imagine him getting time behind Adams and Xavier Tillman.
Perhaps the Grizzlies still have another move in mind. If not, this move doesn’t change their season trajectory at all.
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