Late Saturday evening, ESPN.com reported that there is a level of “mutual interest” between the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz in a potential trade that would see Jazz forward Paul Millsap head to Los Angeles in exchange for Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe.
The Clippers better act fast because the deal would immediately make Los Angeles a better team.
Millsap is the sort of young frontcourt player that would add a new dimension to an already-dynamic Clippers offense.
But more importantly, the 6’8” forward would add a presence on the boards, as he averages 7.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. These numbers would rank second on the Clippers if he were with the team today.
The Clippers rank 17th in the league in rebounds per game and would greatly benefit from Millsap’s quick hands.
Yes, Bledsoe is a 23-year-old point guard with tremendous upside. But the Clippers already have Chris Paul to run the offense and, as he is just 27, hopefully will for years to come. With the All-Star Game MVP slated to become a free agent at year’s end, the time to win is now in Los Angeles.
Millsap may be the best option available if the Clippers were to move Bledsoe.
That is why the Clippers need to move quickly to make a deal for Millsap. The Jazz forward is young—just 28—and would immediately add some size that is lacking on the roster. Aside from power forward Blake Griffin, Millsap would be the tallest Clipper to average more than 10 points per game.
While the Clippers do benefit from center DeAndre Jordan’s presence down low, they need an infusion of size if they are going to compete with the big boys out west.
All of the other top contenders in the Western Conference feature a big presence in the frontcourt. The San Antonio Spurs have Tim Duncan, the Oklahoma City Thunder have Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant and the Memphis Grizzlies have Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
If the Clippers want to make it through the bruising Western Conference, Griffin and Jordan are going to need some help—and Millsap is that man.
Now is the time to cash in with Bledsoe and make the move for the Jazz forward.
All statistics are gathered via ESPN.