Eric Bledsoe Rumors: Trade for Magic's Arron Afflalo Would Work for Both Sides

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMay 29, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 04:  Eric Bledsoe #12 of the Los Angeles Clippers smiles during a 107-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 4, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Rumors have been circulating around Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe for a while now.

The latest, courtesy of Chad Ford of ESPN (ESPN Insider subscription required), has the Clippers sending Bledsoe and the expiring contract of Caron Butler to the Orlando Magic for shooting guard Arron Afflalo.

Provided that the Clippers re-sign Chris Paul this summer (which I fully expect them to do), there is no reason to keep Bledsoe, whose talent is languishing behind the six-time All-Star. In Orlando, Bledsoe would likely receive much more playing time with 31-year-old Jameer Nelson aging.

Bledsoe had his best season with the Clippers in 2012-2013, averaging 8.5 points, 3.1 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 20 minutes per game while shooting a career-high 45 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc.

More importantly, he shed some concerns about his ability to take care of the ball, registering a career-low turnover rate of 13.7 (in 2011-12, he posted a turnover rate of 18.2), via ESPN.com. Now, that is still a high number, but it's drastically better than his first two years in the league.

The addition of Bledsoe would allow the Magic to focus on a much-needed shooting guard at No. 2 overall in the draft. Someone like, say, Kansas' Ben McLemore or Indiana's Victor Oladipo.

From the Clippers' perspective, they get a proven veteran who has been known to put the ball in the hoop. He struggled from the field last year with the Magic, but he was also on a bad team. For his career, he's shot 46 percent from the floor and 38 percent from downtown. Paired with Paul, he's also bound to get more than a few open looks.

On top of that, the Clippers have the No. 25 overall pick in the draft this year, which gives them an opportunity to grab a promising point guard to slot behind Paul in the wake of Bledsoe's departure. Ford has the Clippers selecting explosive Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson at No. 25 in his latest mock draft (subscription required).

This trade would make a lot of sense. Unless either team finds a better deal out there, this rumor has some legs to it.

 

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