Doc Rivers Move Helps Orlando Magic in Eric Bledsoe Deal

By Christian Tamayo
Eric Bledsoe
Spruce Derden- USA TODAY Sports

Now that one of the stranger head coaching moves has been completed with Doc Rivers joining the Los Angeles Clippers, the Orlando Magic’s path to landing Eric Bledsoe has become clearer.

Chris Paul has admired Rivers and his arrival is a huge boost to the Clippers’ chances of resigning the point guard long-term, which makes Bledsoe more expendable.

Bringing in Doc Rivers was a clear signal of intent by the Clippers, stating that they’re ready to win a championship right now. While Bledsoe has a world of potential, the Clippers know they have holes to fill in order to put out a more complete basketball team.

As mentioned, Bledsoe has plenty of potential, but he is still developing as a player and aside from Blake Griffin and Chris Paul (should he resign), Bledsoe is their next biggest asset. A glaring weakness on the Clippers’ roster is a legitimate starting shooting guard. Jamal Crawford is one of the most lethal scorers in the game, but he’s at his best in his sixth man role. Aside from Crawford, the Clippers either went with the old, undersized Chauncey Billups or Willie Green.

Aaron Afflalo is definitely an upgrade over them as a starting option in the position, and the deal makes a lot of sense for both parties. Afflalo, while he had a down year shooting the basketball, is still a knockdown three-point shooter from the corners and Chris Paul could get him plenty of open shots. Afflalo is also a tough defender, and in my opinion, is a championship caliber role player.

Afflalo was asked to do too much for the Magic and it showed as the season progressed, as he was noticeably fatigued. In Los Angeles, he would return to a more comfortable role and could play a big part in their title push. Afflalo would make a lot of teams better; he’s as solid a role player as there is in the game.

Orlando isn’t crazy about any of the point guards in the 2013 NBA Draft and adding Bledsoe not only gives the Magic another young player with big potential, but they’re filling a big need in finding Jameer Nelson’s successor. Also, it gives them more flexibility with the number two overall pick, with Ben Mclemore and Victor Oladipo both intriguing the team.

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