Eric Bledsoe for Paul Millsap Trade a No-Brainer for Los Angeles Clippers

By Patrick Schmidt
Eric Bledsoe Paul Millsap trade
Mark L. Baer – USA Today Sports

The rumored trade that would send Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe to the Utah Jazz for power forward Paul Millsap would be an absolute steal for the Clippers.

Pairing Millsap with All-Star Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan would give the Clippers a formidable front court that would be unmatched in the Western Conference. The 28-year-old forward is one of the most underrated forwards in the game, but with Utah loaded with young big men Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors, who are both former top-three draft picks, Millsap has seen his minutes decrease to 30.4 per game, his fewest since the 2009-2010 season.

Over the past three seasons, Millsap is averaging 16.3 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game while never averaging more than 35 minutes per game, proving to be one of the more efficient players in the league. He would make up for the offensive deficiencies in Jordan’s game and allow Griffin to face fewer double-teams in the paint.

Bledsoe is a dynamic young playmaker and is a fine backup to All-Star Chris Paul, but with Paul expected to resign with the team after this season, Bledsoe would be locked into a reserve player. Therefore, if the Clippers can turn the 23-year-old backup point guard into a dominant big man with an expiring contract that can help them win an NBA title this season, it’s a no-brainer.

Bledsoe would price himself out of the Clippers budget once his rookie contract expires after next season and the team could lose him for nothing, so getting Millsap’s production and expiring contract would free up money to make a run at Dwight Howard in free agency this summer. The Clippers could conceivably have Paul, Griffin and Howard and only sacrifice Bledsoe and Millsap.

That’s a heckuva deal in my opinion and would allow the Clippers to further shop Jordan, who has been mentioned in trade rumors for Kevin Garnett this winter, and fill needs elsewhere.

The Clippers have one of the best records in the NBA as a result of their depth and Bledsoe is a big reason for that, but moving him to get Millsap is a slam dunk as they look to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” on airing Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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