There has been speculation that the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Clippers are in discussions in a trade involving three players. The trade proposal would send Aaron Afflalo to the Clippers with Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler going to Orlando.
On paper, this trade makes a lot of sense for both teams. The Clippers really need a better two-guard to improve the strength of their team, and Afflalo is an above-average role player in this league. Afflalo is coming off an inconsistent season shooting the ball, but with his increased workload on a young Orlando team, the Clippers should expect him to improve on that.
Orlando certainly asked a lot from Afflalo, he was the primary option offensively, which you could tell was out of his comfort zone. Afflalo is at his best spotting up at the three-point line and playing solid, tough defense. Should Chris Paul stay with the Clippers, you could see Afflalo benefitting greatly from playing alongside him.
We know Orlando isn’t crazy about drafting Trey Burke or any other point guard in this year’s draft, so Eric Bledsoe is a solid target for Orlando to go after to eventually replace Jameer Nelson.
Bledsoe, 23, showed a lot of improvement in his third season in the NBA. He has a good shot, plays hard defense, and has superior athleticism. Some players have even called him “mini-LeBron” because of his strength and ridiculous athleticism. It would add another significant piece to Orlando’s rebuilding project, and Bledsoe has serious star potential with increased playing time.
There are a couple of potential roadblocks in its path, however. The Clippers have been discussing a big trade with the Boston Celtics, although it has hit a snag. More importantly, the Clippers cannot do anything with Bledsoe until they figure out what Chris Paul decides to do in free agency.
Orlando should definitely pursue this trade, as it would add a serious young talent to the team. Caron Butler has one year remaining on his contract, so he immediately becomes an asset whether it’s in another trade to a team looking for a veteran forward or with his contract expiring and freeing even more cap space for the Magic.