7-7, 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and suffocating defense.
That was Eric Bledsoe‘s line in last night’s victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Every good game he his this series, he’s adding to the chance that the 2013 playoffs may be the last time he dons a Los Angeles Clippers uniform. And Chris Paul knows it.
“Bled is one of the best guards in our league,” Paul said after practice Sunday. “I’ve said it all season long. I’m enjoying playing with him right now because there’s no way he can be here next year because we probably won’t have enough money to pay him. He should be a starting point guard in this league next year.”
via Eric Bledsoe Rises to the Challenge – ESPNLA
Well, Chris Paul is half right. Bledsoe’s under contract until the summer of 2014 where the Clippers could declare him a restricted free agent, but this is all unlikely to happen. Everyone knows that Bledsoe will be trade bait up until the deadline next season because he has the talents to be someone starting point guard. Around the All-Star break there were Bledsoe-for-Paul Millsap rumors, but the Clippers denied any truth to that. Bledsoe was also mentioned in the package deal that would have sent Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles. Point is trading Bledsoe is all but inevitable at this point.
Digging more into the quotes, this is likely foreshadowing of Chris Paul re-signing in LA during the summer. If Paul decides to re-sign with the organization this summer, the Clippers won’t have the cap space to extend Bledsoe to a wealthy deal due to the amount of money Paul will be asking for.
But this is all pure speculation at this point. No one knows how the Clippers management will handle things when the time arises. Until then we can continue to watch Bledsoe amaze us all during the playoffs.