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NBA Los Angeles Clippers

NBA Rumors: Would Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson Make Los Angeles Clippers NBA Championship Contenders?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers are already contenders in the Western Conference but they need one last piece to the puzzle in order to go the distance. Would a trade for Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson be what the Clippers need to win a NBA championship in 2013?

Los Angeles currently sits behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs in the West. Both of those teams could cause all sorts of problems for the Clippers in the postseason as the team has no legitimate threat at the center position. San Antonio is prepared to make Utah a solid offer for Jefferson, which means Los Angeles better step in and make some noise in the trade talks if they want to gain an extra edge in the playoffs.

The Jazz are unsure if they are going to be able to keep Jefferson this summer once he becomes an unrestricted free agent. For that reason, there is a good chance the organization will make a trade to the highest bidder so at least they get something for the departing 28-year-old. Jefferson is averaging 17.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while making 48.5 percent of his shots in 32.8 minutes. Clearly, any legitimate contender in the West that acquires him will instantly shoot to the top as the favorite in the conference.

How can the Clippers pry the Jazz away from the Spurs’ offer? It is no secret Utah wants a stellar point guard and Los Angeles just so happens to have a backup that fits the bill. Many Clippers fans would be disappointed to see Eric Bledsoe leave town considering how much of an asset he is to the team but to acquire a top offensive player in return would heal the wounds quickly. The Clippers would probably also have to get rid of at least one more player in order to try and shed some cash.

Bledsoe would be a great addition to the Jazz and could help the team stay in contention of a playoff berth in 2013. The Clippers, on the other hand, would be unstoppable with Jefferson in the middle along with Blake Griffin while Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford do damage on the outside.