Winners and Losers of LA Clippers-Phoenix Suns-Milwaukee Bucks Trade
Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler are on their way to the Suns, and the Clips get J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley. The Bucks get two second-round picks from both the Clips and the Suns.
It absolutely hurts to see such a unique and intriguing physical specimen and talent like Bledsoe leave Los Angeles. But they just committed more than $107 million to re-sign their superstar who plays the same position, Chris Paul. Bledsoe has a very bright future with the Suns and was absolutely considered one of the best backup guards in the league.
Let's take a look at the winners and losers of this three-way deal.
Winner: J.J. Redick
Redick has always made his money as a three-point marksman, and he will continue to do that with the Clips. They will replace Butler's expiring $8 million contract with four years of Redick at $27 million. I've always thought Redick was a criminally underrated player in Orlando; he was a critical bench player who helped space the floor for Dwight Howard for so many years.
Now, he gets to play with one of the best point guards in the league in Chris Paul, who will find him early and often for open looks. His career 39 percent from deep will give defenses much more to think about when they try to collapse on Paul driving in the lane.
Loser: Caron Butler
Despite signing a three-year, $24 million deal two summers ago with Los Angeles, they decided Butler wasn't the wing scoring option they needed to play alongside Paul and Blake Griffin. He averaged just 10.4 points despite being in a good offensive situation.
Now he's traded to a situation with the Suns in which he's a moving part and expiring contract. He'll need to show something in the Suns' system if he ever hopes to earn anything more than a short-term, mid-level exception type of contract from another contending team.
Winner: Eric Bledsoe
Bledsoe was Paul's highly regarded backup for three years, but the 23-year-old finally has a chance to prove what he can do in a role where he can play big minutes for the Phoenix Suns. Like Butler, he will be in the final year of his contract. Unlike Butler, he will likely be able to command a big-money deal given his age and talent level, should he perform well in his inaugural year playing alongside Goran Dragic.
He goes from a middle-of-the-pack playoff contender to a rebuilding Suns squad that just drafted Alex Len with the fifth pick in the 2013 draft. Now he can grow with Dragic and Len to be the core of the future for the Suns.
Loser: Milwaukee Bucks
This wasn't specifically a bad move for the Bucks, but in a deal where mostly everyone seemed to benefit in some form, the Bucks leave an impression that kind of sums up their entire franchise: mediocre.
Two second-round picks to a fringe playoff team in the Eastern Conference doesn't really make any noise. As it stands, the Bucks just got slightly worse, but not bad enough to get themselves a high pick in the loaded 2014 NBA draft.
At least now they have one of the lowest payrolls in the league heading into 2014. You know, because they were going to attract all of those marquee free-agents. Or they're just really anxious to overpay Brandon Jennings.
Winner: Jared Dudley
Once upon a time, Jared Dudley played alongside an elite point guard in a system where his "do a bit of everything" game was allowed to flourish. He will now get that opportunity again, playing in the City of Angels with Chris Paul.
Like Redick, he can expect to see a lot more open looks courtesy of Paul. He makes up for the loss of Butler's wing defense but provides it at a much cheaper price tag. He will have the chance to go from a losing situation to a winning one. His skill set is useless on a team with the second-worst record in Suns history but could be critical on a team looking to contend.