NBA Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Clippers Shouldn't Trade Away Youth

By Michael Stephenson
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The talk of the Los Angeles Clippers acquiring Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics is heating up with the NBA trade deadline approaching on Feb. 21. The reported rumor has the Clippers sending Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan to Boston for the 15-time NBA All-Star.

This trade would give the Clippers an established low post scorer who can play away from the basket and knock down the mid-range jumper as well. The 36-year-old is averaging 15.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season. Garnett would also help the Clippers at the end of games with his defensive demeanor and ability to make his free throws, shooting 79 percent from the line this season. The Clippers believe this trade will put them over the hump and give them the best chance to compete with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat.

However, the Clippers shouldn’t give away both of these young and talented players for Garnett. This trade wouldn’t guarantee the Clippers anything except the final two years of his three-year, $34 million contract that he signed last summer.

The Clippers will eventually have to part ways with Bledsoe, who has the talent to start for a lot of different teams around the league. Right now, he is still a valuable weapon off of the Clippers bench. He can change the game all by himself playing with the Clippers second unit, giving them a boost on the defensive end of the floor and a special explosiveness on offense. There shouldn’t be a rush to get rid of this 23-year-old, who is currently signed through next season.

The Clippers re-signed Jordan to a four-year, $43 million contract right before the 2011 season. The 24-year-old center has taken his game a step further this year, dedicating last off-season to developing a low post offensive game. He certainly has shown some of those improvements, improving from 7.4 points per game last season to 9.0 points per game this season. Those numbers definitely don’t jump out at you, but last season his teammates wouldn’t look his way while he called for the ball on the block and that’s changed this year.  The biggest issue with Jordan comes at the free throw line, where he is shooting a very poor 42 percent this season, which has kept him off of the floor at the end of some close games.

The improvements he has shown this season should be a message to the Clippers front office that he is willing to put in the extra work to improve his game. This trade would be giving away a promising young center in a league where the position is hard to come by these days. His hard work will eventually pay off and the Clippers need to see that through.

So, this rumored trade for Garnett definitely has everyone talking, but it shouldn’t happen. It’s understandable that the Clippers would want to trade for Garnett, but they shouldn’t trade both of these young players for him. This trade wouldn’t automatically put them over the hump and youth is something that is becoming more and more valued around the NBA.

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