Clippers in Position of Strength at Deadline
The Los Angeles Clippers have survived injuries to Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom. Winning four straight, the Clippers are in third place in the Western Conference with a 39-17 record.
The team is ready to go past the deadline without making a deal, which puts them in a position of strength when teams call.
Eric Bledsoe is coveted by many teams. DeAndre Jordan is a young, athletic center who has two more seasons on his contract at $22.4 million.
If the Clippers can improve their chances to win a title this year, they’d certainly consider moving both Bledsoe and Jordan. Viable names linked to the Clippers include Kevin Garnett and Paul Millsap.
At some point, the team is likely to trade Bledsoe but that may not be the case until Chris Paul is re-signed long term – after this season. Bledsoe has another year on his contract.
The Clippers are dependent on what teams like the Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz want to offer. Garnett’s no-trade clause could certainly complicate matters, even if the Clippers and Celtics make progress on a deal.
Because L.A. has no pressure or desperation to make a deal by Thursday, they can afford to sit back and wait for the best offer – and pass if it doesn’t meet their needs.
— Eric Pincus