The latest rumor on the rumor mill is a Bledsoe for Millsap swap. Utah is looking to ship out Millsap and or Jefferson to make room for Kanter and Favors to grow and develop. They’re also looking for a point guard since Mo Williams went down with injury. Eric Bledsoe is a speedy, athletic, and promising young point guard who has headlined the Clippers second unit this season. Now that Chauncey Billups is back and healthy, the Clippers are looking to see what value they can get for him. The Clippers just want another piece to get them over San Antonio and OKC in the West. Getting Millsap might just do that.
The trade would have too be more complicated for it to go down. Eric Bledsoe 1.7 million this year and Millsap is due 8.6 million in the final year of his contract. The Clippers are going to have to throw in a lot more pieces for this to happen. The weaker guys on the team are too cheap – guys like Turiaf, Hollins, and Barnes who the Clippers wouldn’t mind giving up. They value Grant Hill’s veteran experience and the defense he plays, who could be a guy the Clippers who is due 1.9 million this year and could bring the Clippers closer to making a deal. The best possible package for L.A would to send Eric Bledsoe (1.7 million), and Lamar Odom (8.2 million), maybe even Willie Green (1.4 million) to entice the Jazz some more. Lamar is averaging a career low in points with just under 4 a game. He is also averaging only 6 rebounds and 2 assists in 20 minutes a game. Lamar is getting paid almost the same as Millsap and is producing way under what the Clippers expected. He is dispensable.
Some things I wonder about this trade is how the Clippers will use Millsap. If they want him to sign an extension for the future then they’ll probably have to start him. He’s one of the top free agents this summer and teams will most definitely be offering him a starting job, so if the Clippers want to keep him longterm he’ll have to play starting PF? That doesn’t work considering Blake Griffin is a superstar and is already there. I’m just not sure how Millsap will fit into the Clippers plans. If he is ok with playing 6th man, then the Clippers get a tremendous deal but if he wants a starting role then trading Lamar and Eric Bledsoe for a guy who is only committed for the rest of the season. For Utah, this trade works out great for them. They need a point guard and Eric Bledsoe is one of the most talented young guards in the league. They also get Lamar who is very versatile, a good passer and a solid rebounder for their bench. He’s also an expiring contract so they don’t have to keep him beyond this year if they don’t want, and if they don’t, they could ideally, shed 8 million from their payroll and have more room to sign a free agent this summer.