Even with the NFL ramping up and the regular season just around the corner, the NBA still finds a way to keep its brand in the news.
A trade was finalized between the L.A. Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies last night, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Clippers have traded Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo, and Daniel Oturu to the Grizzlies. In return, the Clippers get Eric Bledsoe for his second stint with the team.
Like most, the first thing I asked myself about this deal is… why?
Aside from the cap relief this move gives the Clippers, the trade also gets them an $8.3 million traded-player exception they can use within the next year, in addition to saving the team $30 million in luxury tax expenses.
But does this move help the Clippers on the court?
This will be the second go-around for Bledsoe as a Clipper. He was drafted by the OKC Thunder in 2010, then was traded to the Clippers, where he spent his first three years in the league. Known for his speed, ball-handling, and scoring ability, Bledsoe has become a journeyman during his time in the NBA.
With Kawhi Leonard set to miss most, if not all, of next season recovering from ACL surgery, Bledsoe should give L.A. that scoring threat they need off the bench. And after the playoff run Reggie Jackson had in the postseason it’s hard to see him go back to a sixth-man role, especially when you factor in the contract the Clippers signed him to this offseason.
While in Phoenix playing for the Suns, Bledsoe averaged over 20 points per game two years in a row. That version of Bledoes has not been seen in a few years. His average points per game has declined in each of the past four seasons. With Bledsoe’s lowest average since 2012-13 coming last season where he averaged just 12.2 ppg.
I get the move where salary cap and luxury tax implications are concerned. But the Clippers will need more help than Bledsoe to stay afloat in the deep sea of the Western Conference while Leonard is recovering. There is only so much they’ll be able to do with that $8.3 million traded-player exception.
Another key piece in this trade is long-time Clipper and defensive agitator Pat Bev. Known for his defensive ability, Beverley is also known around the association as a troll. Whether it be on the court or social media, Beverley always has an opinion on something.
Clippers fans will miss his toughness and knack for making key defensive plays at big moments in games. I understand that. But some of them take it a little too far. One fan on Twitter goes so far as to reply with, “GONNA MISS YOU GOAT[ w/crying emoji].”
Beverley has been a great defender, sure. But can we stop throwing around the GOAT label all willy-nilly like this? If you’re a Clippers fan and think I’m hating, check this out.
Now I won’t go as far as Russell Westbrook and say he doesn’t play any defense. But I do agree with the overall sentiment. Let’s cool it with calling everybody a GOAT. It’s way overdone.
The troll has now become the trolled as social media hoped on Beverley’s line immediately once the news broke about the trade last night. Of course, Beverley had to get fans hyped with a tweet, which was pounced on by a legion of trolls.
It is fun to watch a troll be trolled by his former fan base immediately following his departure. But you know this won’t stop Pat Bev. He’ll be back this season talking trash in Memphis, trading shots back and forth with the likes of Westbrook and others. Some things never change.