Rumor has it that the Clippers have proposed a trade to the Boston Celtics that would send Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe to the Celtics for Kevin Garnett. I am absolutely shocked by this offer from the Clippers. At one point they were on a 17 game winning streak and had the best record in the league. Now that they’ve got Chris Paul injured they’ve lost 5 of 7 and start proposing outrageous trades like this.
First of all, Kevin Garnett does not fit within the Clippers’ system. The Clippers are a fast-break team, they thrive off their defense turning into offense and they score tons of points in transition – just ask Blake Griffin. Even though Kevin Garnett provides extra interior defense and rebounding, the Clippers already have Turiaf and Hollins who do the same thing, obviously at a lesser rate but at a much lesser salary. Hollins and Turiaf with their combined impact are a better choice for Garnett who most likely would not be comfortable coming off the bench.
Additionally, without Caron Butler there is a glaring hole at the 3 spot for the Clippers. Caron Butler is also a plain scorer and one of the few players on the team who can consistently shoot the three ball. Without Bledsoe they lose one of the most promising young guards in the NBA. He’s learning from Paul and Billups and has become very reliable off the bench. Especially with Paul injured. They’re 2-5 their last 7 games, without Bledsoe running the point they might be 0-7. Without Bledsoe they have to force Jamal to play the 1 which isn’t his natural position. He’s a shoot-first guard not a pass first guy like Bledsoe and Paul and their passing is what keeps the offense flowing. It puts extra pressure on Crawford to be a playmaker rather than being the scoring punch he has been for the year.
The Clippers lead the league in bench scoring so by giving up Butler and Bledsoe, they get thinner and lose their point guard of the 2nd unit. They lose a very significant part of their offense and for what? A declining player who can play some more defense and rebound a little more. The Clippers are not getting beaten on the boards or inside, they need to keep playing their game and stick with their current team. Don’t make a silly move like the Grizzlies and trade because you can. Garnett is not worth it, the Clippers are a win-now team and a win in the future team, and by taking on Garnett’s expensive contract you not only limit yourself financially but you give up Caron Butler and Bledsoe for a guy who only has around 2-3 years left. After he retires, then what?
Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro apparently is pushing for a Kevin Garnett for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan trade. Word has it that the front office is completely against this, and I can see why. They don’t want to lose their exceptional backup point guard and the most athletic center in the league. I prefer this version of the trade though, compared to the Butler and Bledsoe for Garnett trade because Garnett is a significant upgrade over DeAndre. Garnett gives them a low post go to guy, they get more interior defense, they get more rebounding and they get a championship caliber player. I like the Clippers altering the trade to keep Butler because they don’t have many other 3’s and Butler is a great three point shooter and can create his own shot. Additionally, with Billups back and healthy and playing well they can afford to trade Bledsoe. So, if I’m the Clippers and the trade is DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe for Kevin Garnett I would take the trade because I think they will get out of the west with KG and will have a very good chance of winning a championship.