After securing their head coach in Doc Rivers, the Los Angeles Clippers are moving onto executing their next plan: trading Eric Bledsoe. Mark Heisler of SportsCity.com, who had the scoop on the Rivers-to-LA trade the entire way, reports the rumored Eric Bledsoe for Arron Afflalo trade that we’ve heard about in the past few weeks will happen the night of the draft:
Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler are expected to be packaged in a draft-day trade for Orlando’s Arron Aflallo, addressing the Clipper need for a shooting guard.
via Meet the New Boss: Doc Rivers to Run Clipper Organization – SportsCity
With Chauncey Billups being near ineffective at the end of last season, it became evident that the Clippers needed an upgrade at the shooting guard position. Adding Afflalo gives the Clips a young player who can spread the floor while defending the other team’s best player. After being traded to the Orlando Magic in the four-team deal that featured superstar Dwight Howard, Arron averaged 16.5 points per game on 43 percent shooting.
Affalo’s efficiency dropping during his time with the Magic has everything to do with being the main focus of the offense and having a bigger role. His usage percentage of 22.5 was the highest of his six year career. In a subdued role playing as the third banana behind Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Arron could get back to his 47 percent field-goal and 39 percent three-point rate.
Bledsoe’s trade value is probably as close to its peak as it’ll ever be and Afflalo seems like a decent haul. And though Afflalo is a good two-way shooting guard, trading both Bledsoe and Caron Butler for him seems like a lot. Maybe the Clips can walk away with one of the promising young players that had a good year for the Magic last season in either Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris or Andrew Nicholson.
This Clippers team is preparing themselves for a long postseason run. Adding Arron to the core of Griffin and Paul helps, but it’s going to take a bit more to consider them in the same conversation as the Oklahoma City Thunder or San Antonio Spurs.