ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that, according to sources, Toronto had offered DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani to the Clippers, but they declined due to Doc Rivers’ desire to keep Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan. Los Angeles’ need to include Jordan in a swap with the Raptors is likely no more after they dealt Bargnani to the New York Knicks, reported the New York Times’ Howard Beck.
UPDATE: Knicks and Raptors have agreed to deal to send Bargnani to New York. Awaiting league approval.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) June 30, 2013
If Toronto offers DeRozan for Bledsoe straight up, which works according to ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine, the Clippers should accept.
According to the Toronto Sun’s Ryan Wolstat, Rivers loves DeRozan.
Re: Raptors/Clippers rumours: Doc Rivers is one of biggest DeRozan backers in the league. Doc loves him.— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) June 30, 2013
Should LA swap Bledsoe for DeRozan?
Los Angeles’ wings were pitiful in this past postseason. Starters Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups combined to score just 14.7 points per game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bledsoe spent some time at shooting guard this past season, but the point guard wouldn’t fit nearly as well in the starting lineup next to Chris Paul compared to DeRozan.
Paul, Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford all finished in the top 40 in the NBA in usage rate, according to ESPN. That means they like to have the ball in their hands. With three players already on their roster who demand the basketball, it’d be in the Clippers’ best interest to start a wing that scores most of his points off of assists.
DeRozan fits the bill. He scored 55 percent of his field goals off assists in the 2012-13 campaign, according to 82games.com. Bledsoe created his shot more times than not, only scoring off an assist 39 percent of the time.
Not only is DeRozan a better offensive fit than Bledsoe, the Raptor is a superior defender. Opposing shooting guards averaged a player efficiency rating (PER) of just 10.8 against him this year, according to 82games (the league average is 15.0). Bledsoe allowed a whopping 22.7 PER when at 2-guard.
He’s so inefficient because of his lack of size. Bledsoe is just 6’1”, 195 pounds. DeRozan is 6’7”, 216 pounds.
If Los Angeles was wise, it would attempt to execute the swap before the deadline.
David Daniels is a breaking news at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.