On the Trade Front: What is Eric Bledsoe Worth?

Without a doubt, the #1 question I get on Twitter, in emails, for the podcast, etc. is “What would the Clippers want for Eric Bledsoe?” That question came even more feverishly after Chris Paul’s comments about Eric Bledsoe most likely being traded this offseason. First of all, that is an impossible question for me to answer because I am not the Clippers. I am not their owner (thank God), I am not their GM, and I am not their soon to be let go head coach. I am just a guy who knows a bit about basketball, both the game itself and its vast history. When trying to predict what will happen next, the answer always lies in the past – trying to find a similar situation and seeing how it played out. The problem with that is that we so rarely see a young point guard on a great contract, who is just hitting his prime, traded in this league. Somewhat ironically, the most comparable situation we have seen in the last five years has been when New Orleans traded Chris Paul’s dynamic backup point guard to the Indiana Pacers in the summer of 2010.

So, in order to try and predict the future, let’s take a glance into the past and see just how similar (or different) these two situations truly are.

The Teams

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers were a young team with a talented nucleus that included Danny Granger, Tyler Hansborough, Roy Hibbert, and the recently drafted Paul George. They didn’t own any future picks other than their own and the veterans on their roster didn’t really hold any trade value. Their young players did, but trading one young guy for another would have been counterproductive to their plan. In several ways they are similar to the New Orleans Pelicans in that the players that have the most value are likely off the table with regard to the Bledsoe trade. In other ways, however, there are differences, as the Pelicans have young productive players in Robin Lopez and Greivis Vasquez who are on great contracts.

New Orleans Hornets

The Hornets were in ‘win-now’ mode, as franchise cornerstones David West and Chris Paul were two summers away from becoming unrestricted free agents. They had a new coach and a new GM, desperate to try and avoid what everybody saw coming, and instead they tried to meet Chris Paul’s request of building a championship contender around him. The front court was solid, with David West and Emeka Okafor patrolling the paint, but New Orleans had absolutely nothing on the wing outside of a steadily decling Peja,a defensive black hole in Marcus Thornton, an unknown in Marco Belinelli, a rookie in Quincy Pondexter, and an overweight, unproductive player in James Posey. They were desperate for a wing who could provide the defense that Monty Williams philosophy was built around, and a guy who could knock down the open trey when CP3 kicked it out.

In some ways the Clippers and the Hornets are similar, but in more ways they are different. The Hornets had a two year window, while the Clippers figure to have CP3 and Blake locked up for 5 more years starting this summer. That is their window. The Clippers also reside in a larger market and are probably more likely to pay the luxury tax if it came to that, and as much as I joke about Vinny Del Negro, they do have some stability in the front office and at coach – at least more than the Hornets had at the time when they executed this trade.

The Trade

The Hornets traded Darren Collison and  the bloated contract of James Posey to the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers, in return sent out the expiring contract of Troy Murphy to the New Jersey Nets. The Nets sent Courtney Lee to the Rockets, who completed the puzzle by sending Trevor Ariza to the New Orleans Hornets. The fact that this was a multi-team trade gives us multiple things to look at. First, there is a difference between what the team who landed the young point guard (Indiana) gave up and what the team who traded him (New Orleans) received. Indiana did not have the ‘win now’ young wing veteran that the Hornets sought out, but by taking on a bad salary and finding other teams to get the Hornets what they wanted, they got their young guard without giving up any significant pieces of their young core.

The Players


Darren Collison’s rookie year was a tale of two seasons. As a reserve, he really struggled finding his role on the Hornets second unit. In his 39 games off the bench, he averaged just 6.4 points and 2.5 assists, shooting 45% with an assist to turnover ratio of 2:1. In the 37 games he started when CP3 went down, however, he was fantastic, averaging 18.8 points and 9.1 assists per game. He shot nearly 49% from the field and 43% from three, and posted an assist to turnover ratio of nearly 3:1. The more minutes he played, the better he produced, as evidenced by his rediculous numbers when he got 40+ minutes: 21.4 points, 10 assists, 52% from the field, 41% from three. While the stats look great, there was one problem – the Hornets were not winning. They went 14-23 with him as a starter and many feared that his numbers were more of a result of Byron Scott’s point guard friendly system than anything Collison was doing in particular.

Eric Bledsoe, meanwhile, has more data to pore through, but he has only started one more game in his first three seasons than Collison did in his rookie year. In his rookie year, Bledsoe started 25 games and put up some solid numbers, averaging 9 points, 6 assists, and nearly 4 rebounds while shooting close to 45% from the floor. After his rookie year, Chris Paul was brought in and Bledsoe has only started 13 games since, twelve of which came this year when CP3 went down with a knee injury. In those games, Bledsoe put up some fantastic numbers defensively, and led the Clippers to a respectable 7-6 record without their superstar. Bledsoe put up 14, 5, and 5 as a starter with 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks a game. The points and assists are admittedly pedestrian for a point guard, but if Bledsoe put up those same numbers throughout the season, he would be 1st in the NBA in steals, 1st amongst guards in blocks (by a WIDE margain), and 2nd amongst all guards in rebounds per game (1st amongst PG’s).

The one area where we can not compare the players is in their playoff production. Collison’s Hornets did not reach the playoffs in his rookie year. Meanwhile, Bledsoe is a key cog in the Clippers playoff run for the second consecutive year. Last year in the playoffs, he posted a PER of 22.2 over 11 games, as he attacked with great efficiency and was a nightmare for opposing teams on the other end. Despite playing just 17 minutes per game in the playoffs, he was second on the team in steals and third in clocks. He also shot a team high 59% from the field and had the second best defensive rating on the team. This year, he has picked up right where he left off, averaging 12.5 points (on 78% shooting) and 5 rebounds in just 16 minutes per game as the Clippers second unit has been one of the biggest reasons the Clippers lead their current series 2-0.

Advantage: Bledsoe


Darren Collison still had 3 years and just $5.1 million total on his deal when he was sent to the Pacers. He would then become a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer of just $3.4 million. Basically the Pacers were getting a starting point guard who was getting paid like a 10th man. Eric Bledsoe is locked in for $2.6 million next season, but then becomes a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer of $3.7 million. Whatever team Bledsoe is on this summer can negotiate an extension with him that will kick in during the 2014-15 season. If you project that Bledsoe will get something similar to what Jrue Holliday got this past summer, you could be looking at paying Bledsoe a total of 40-48 million dollars over the next five seasons.

Advantage: Collison


At the time of the trade, Collison was just two weeks shy of his 23rd birthday. Eric Bledsoe turned 23 six months ago. Collison had just one season in the NBA, but played for four years at UCLA, while Bledsoe has three years under his belt in the NBA after having playing just one season at Kentucky. Bledsoe is really just learning how to run a team, while Collison had plenty of experience by the time he was traded to the Pacers. Essentially, Darren Collison came into the league and was already close to his ceiling, while Bledsoe was as raw as they come, and has been slowly adding subtle nuances to his explosive game each and every season. Collison was a cat quick guard in transition with the ability to beat the other guys down the floor on a consistent basis, but Eric Bledsoe is that same guy plus 20 pounds of muscle, better agility, and more vertical explosiveness. There aren’t ten guys in this league with the combination of strength, speed, and explosiveness that Bledsoe possesses, which means that he can become an elite player if he can continue to refine his skills.

Advantage: Bledsoe



Back when the Hornets were looking to move Collison, there was a completely different CBA in place. The penalty for going into the tax was on dollar for every dollar over. The new CBA went in place last year, and next season is when it really starts to get punative. It the prior CBA, the Clippers could have entertained the thought of keeping Eric Bledsoe and paying him 9-11 million dollars a year to be their 4th best player, but not anymore. Bledsoe will be a restricted free agent next offseason, and after the Clippers re-sign Chris Paul, they will be committing close to $50 million per year to Paul, Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan alone. Signing Bledsoe to a big deal will put them in the luxury tax year after year, which would mean a double penalty because of the repeater tax. Because of the new CBA, it looks like keeping Bledsoe long term is just not an option for the Clippers, while the Hornets could have held onto Collison without being penalized financially.

2014 NBA Draft

GM’s view first-round picks as gold in this new era where the CBA restricts teams from spending up to and beyond the luxury tax. Not only are these guys on rookie scale contracts, but GM’s believe that with the way that restricted free agency works in the 5th season, you can essentially control a guy for the first 8-9 years of his career. If a first round pick is normally gold, then the depth and star power in this 2014 class could make a 2014 1st rounder double platinum. I’ve talked to two people in the league and asked them the same question, “If you were to make a Big Board with everybody from the 2013 draft class and everybody you expect to be in the 2014 draft class in it, how many guys from the 2014 class would be in the top 25?” One guy said 19, the other said 21. In essence, what that says is that you could theoretically get the same guy at 20 that you can get at 7 this year. Plus that class figures to have superstars at the top, while this one doesn’t. Bottom line is that 2014 pick, even if it is protected, could fetch you quite a bit in a trade.

The Market

You can try to gauge the intrinsic value of a player and project what trades might be on the table, but the fact of the matter is that a player is worth what a team can get for him. The more bidders, the more that the team trading the player can get for him. In 2010, there weren’t in many teams in dire need of a young point guard. Older teams who had the assets that the Hornets coveted weren’t going to give up those veteran players for a young guy who wasn’t going to get them over the hump immediately. Meanwhile, younger teams either had their point guard of the future, or didn’t have the veteran assets the Hornets wanted in a trade. Indiana was the clear favorite to land Collison from day one, with the Raptors also reportedly in the mix.

Now that it appears likely that Chris Paul will re-sign with the Clippers, and with Marcus Smart returning to school, there are several teams starving for a point guard for the future that the New Orleans Pelicans will likely have to contend with. The Magic, Jazz, and Mavericks figure to be the most aggressive in looking for a point guard this summer, and add Milwaukee and Atlanta to the list if they lose their point guards to free agency. The Celtics also showed interest in the past and could be a factor again if they are willing to move either Avery Bradley or Rajon Rondo in a deal. Detroit, Sacramento, and Charlotte are all darkhorses as well. Expect there to be more of a bidding war for Bledsoe than there was for Collison.


For slightly different reasons, both the New Orleans Hornets in 2010 and the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013 have to trade Chris Paul’s young backup point guard. While Collison was locked into to a better contract, Eric Bledsoe clearly has the bigger upside  and there are more teams after him than there were after Collison in 2010. For those reasons, Eric Bledsoe should fetch more for the Clippers than Collison did for the Hornets. What the New Orleans Pelicans have to consider when pursuing Bledsoe is whether or not they think he is significantly better than other options they can pursue in free agency. Eventually, Bledsoe will get a contract similar to what Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, and Jeff Teague will get this summer, but there is a chance that you can get those guys without giving up an asset. When you are a young team in a small market, trying to build a title contender, every asset matters. But if the Pelicans believe that he can be an elite player in this league, which he has shown that he can be in spurts, then you give up replaceable assets to get the type of player you don’t see on come onto the market very often. It all comes down to how you evaluate Bledsoe and what you project moving forward.

Possible Trades

(*All trades were approved by Clippers writers. Many were proposed, and these were the ones that they said they would at least strongly consider)


Lopez, Vasquez, and lottery protected future 1st for Bledsoe, Grant Hill, and Willie Green

The Pelicans will start off with just trying to give up Lopez and Vasquez, but you wouldn’t blame the Clippers for turning that down. Vasquez isn’t Chris Paul’s favorite player on the planet, and he doesn’t really fit what the Clippers do. Robin Lopez would be a huge upgrade for them as a third big, but not big enough to downgrade from Bledsoe to Vasquez. Expect the Pelicans to have to throw in a future protected first to start to tip the balance in this deal. Grant Hill and Willie Green are added to the trade to make salaries work, but expect Hill to retire after the season. Willie Green would be welcomed back with open arms by Monty.

Lopez and 2013 1st rounder for Eric Bledsoe and Grant Hill

If the Pelicans are slated to pick 6th, the Clippers might have some interest in adding another young, talented piece to the roster and if Dell doesn’t love anybody on the board, he might oblige. Shabazz Muhammad would fit in perfectly with the Clippers and LA wouldn’t have to pay him big money for another 4-5 years, making it a trade the Clippers would have to consider. Again, Hill is here just to make the salaries work.

Eric Bledsoe, 2013 1st rounder, and DeAndre Jordan for Ryan Anderson and Lance Thomas

Yeah, you read that correctly – I actually included Ryan Anderson in a possible trade. The Pelicans will not want to part with him, but when Dell calls, the Clippers will look up and down the roster and Ryan Anderson will be the guy that they ask about the most. The reason why LA’s offense stalls at times is because their bigs can’t stretch the floor. Blake Griffin and Ryan Anderson wouldn’t strike fear into teams on the defensive end, but that team might be unguardable on offense. Meanwhile, the Pelicans unclutter the power forward position and get their point guard of the future along with another pick. On top of that, they still have Lopez and Vasquez to move in other trades while having the ability to pair Jordan with Davis to give the Pelicans one of the longest and most athletic front courts in the league.


Greivis Vasquez, Darius Miller, and 2014 top-10 protected 1st to Magic, Aaron Afflalo to Clippers, Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Pelicans

A lock down, defensive minded shooting guard who can knock down the three is exactly what the Clippers need next to Chris Paul in the backcourt. In this deal, they also get to unload Caron Butler’s contract as they go younger. Meanwhile, the Magic get their possible point guard of the future, a young wing, and another quality pick to add to their stash, while making their team worse for the loaded draft of 2014. The Pelicans lose some cap flexibility for this summer, but that space opens back up for the summer of 2014, where they can target any number of quality small forwards that will be on the market.

Robin Lopez and Wilson Chandler to the Clippers, Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe to the Pelicans, Nuggets get Pelicans lottery protected 1st and Clippers 2013 1st rounder

The Nuggets are in an interesting position with their wing players. Both Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer are free agents this summer and Evan Fournier is showing signs that he can start full-time next year. If they can get some picks for Wilson Chandler, they can use his money to re-sign Brewer and Iggy and avoid the luxury tax. And even if the picks are in the teens or 20’s, the Nuggets have shown the ability to get very solid players that late in the draft. Meanwhile, the Clippers get a very good wing to put next to Paul and Lopez as a third big. In this scenario, the Pelicans still have Vasquez as a trade chip and nearly $9 million in cap room this summer, plus their 2013 pick and in all likelihood, their 2014 pick as well since they likely wouldn’t make the playoffs.

Eric Gordon to Phoenix, Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat to Clippers, Caron Butler, Eric Bledsoe, and picks to Pelicans

This is the blockbuster trade that could drastically change all three franchises. The Suns get the guy they wanted last year in Eric Gordon while the Clippers get two guys in who can help them win right now on reasonable contracts. The Pelicans get Bledsoe, unload Gordon, hold on to valuable assets in Lopez, Vasquez, and their draft picks, and even add a few picks. The Suns own Minnesota’s 2014 pick (lotto protected in 1st year, top-12 protected in future years) and the Lakers 2015 pick. Throw in one of those picks and the Clippers 2013 pick and there would be enough incentive to do this trade and move from the Gordon Era to the Bledsoe Era.

60 responses to “On the Trade Front: What is Eric Bledsoe Worth?”

  1. What doesn’t quite sell me is the fact that Bledsoe was only able to lead a talented Clipper team to a 7-6 record. How would he fare on a less talented and experienced team such as the Hornets?

    • During that stretch I don’t think it was having Bledsoe starting that hurt the Clippers but the fact that besides him the team had no other point. They had to use Crawford as their backup point. Crawfords not a great passer or floor general so that bench that had been so deadly all year became ineffective.

  2. GREAT PEICE. I like all the trades besides the one where we give up Anderson. He’s my favorite player to watch, I’m too attached.

    I’d like to propose a three-teamer:
    Clippers get Wesley Matthews
    Pelicans get Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler
    Trailblazers get Greivis Vasquez and Robin Lopez

    Clippers get quality two that can play some 3 and unload Butler’s contract.
    We get Bledsoe.
    Blazers bolster their bench and could even start Lopez at 5 next year.

  3. Wowser. I’m not sold on Bledsoe, but the flexibility Dell has created for this franchise makes these exciting times! Of all the trades, I hate to admit, the Anderson one makes the most sense: it would leave the Pelicans with a young athletic frontline and a defensively-special perimeter, and still allow Dell to move Lopez or Vasquez for a wing (or draft one). I love Anderson, but if Smith can come back healthy and one of those 1st rounders works out as a shooter that is a worthwhile deal. That having been said, with Dell pretty much offering up Gordon to anyone I imagine a deal moving him is the most plausible. If we can find any takers, that is. Great article!

    • We would be insane to give up Ryan Anderson a guy who a year after winning most improved, improved his game by leaps and bounds again this year. He is still very young and can be expected to improve on def. end behind Monty. Of course as ad gets stronger and understands playing d on this level better, those two will make an unbelievable duo side by side. We don’t need deandre Jordan in there mucking that up. Everybody remember the finals last year and all the hullabaloo about not needing a traditional center anymore (which I wasn’t completely on board with but it suits my argument here). Ad + Ryno + jsmith + ? Is enough size and d, regardless who ? Is though hopefully he brings some toughness.

      I like Bledsoe a lot and my hope all along was to tab him as our pg to make up for not getting him included in the cp deal ( instead of any piece!! That we received!) but we don’t need to take a huge leap backward to take a step forward.

  4. I love that last trade. All year long, we have been talking about ways to get rid of Gordon while getting enough value in return. This gives us the chance to unload Gordon, get a solid point, and a few picks to slowly develop. I love it. And like you said, we will still have Lopez, Vasquez, and additional picks to move. Dealer Dell would love that. Man, I am so on board for that!

  5. Lopez and 2013 1st rounder for Eric Bledsoe and Grant Hill

    Robin Lopez and Wilson Chandler to the Clippers, Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe to the Pelicans, Nuggets get Pelicans lottery protected 1st and Clippers 2013 1st rounder

    Eric Gordon to Phoenix, Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat to Clippers, Caron Butler, Eric Bledsoe, and picks to Pelicans

    These are the trades I would do if I had a choice. I wish we could get Chandler someway though ha. Only way I’d include this year’s draft pick is if we get outside top 5-6 and all the main prospects are gone. Lopez is good and all but he really isn’t the answer for our starting center. Davis should fill this role out. I really want us to keep Vasquez because he’d be the perfect backup guy to come off the bench and have that energy like Jason Smith. He has fire to him that not a lot of players have. I’m not saying it’s CP3 fire but still good.

  6. Did u guys apologize to Eric Bledsoe yet, for making the comment that Jeremy Lin was a better player than him?
    It was tweeted by a 24/7 writer!

    -I refuse to bring up the theory of trading Lopez to gain a extra pick and draft Zellers! #TragicTRAGIC

  7. Why is everybody so persistent about trading Greivis Vasquez? He is a young player on a good contract entering his prime. Bledsoe might not be the answer.

    • GV is like a great magician. Everything seems great to those who don’t quite know what to look for. He draws you in with scoring, size, and assists. This draws attention away from the side of the court that few watch carefully. GV could be the worst defensive starter at PG in the entire league. The assists are nice but the turnovers tend to take away from that strength. Bottom line: he’s a nice player that is in a role that doesn’t quite fit his skill set. Will his value ever be higher? Does he have the physical tools to take another jump in his game? I’d love to keep him if he changed his game to more of what Andre Miller does utilizing his frame and punishing the quicker guards that terrorize him.

      • You said the key phrase there, it’s his role that was out of place. GV’s value is not as a starting pg but rather a multipostion sixth man bringing scoring and fire (think ginobili) off the pine. He accepted the challenge of taking on a role that was not suited to him and performed admirably, in spite of

        – the fact that I’m sure management only saw him as a place holder while we look for our pg

        – the fact the eg was supposed to be available opening day guarding the quicker guard while go took the larger guard

        Understand if we move him in the right deal, and that the need for a starting 1 is greater than that of a sixth man, but like him a lot and think he brings a lot either to our team or a contender looking for a sparkplug and would be happy to keep him

  8. ATLANTA will have a lot of cap space and two draft picks. Why not offer them Gordon for pick 16 and send that pick along with Vasquez to Clippers for Bledsoe? Why wouldn’t the Clippers do that?

  9. “Eric Bledsoe, 2013 1st rounder, and DeAndre Jordan for Ryan Anderson and Lance Thomas” Pelican fans might have a heart attack trading Ryan and Dell may never have the guts to pull the trigger but this is something I’ve thought might happen this offseason. Let’s face it, outside of AD who will never be traded at this point, Ryan has the most value to other teams considering EG’s health, contract and inconsistent play. Add the backlog at PF and Ryan’s deficiency at defense and this trade, or something like it, has an outside chance of happening.

  10. As much as we all love Ryan Anderson (myself included), having two top-ten power forwards is a luxury this team can’t afford, especially while the rest of our roster is so thin. If we can bring back something of equal value to fill more pressing needs, I’m not really opposed to that.

    Bare in mind his departure would clear up minutes for Anthony Davis to begin staking his claim as an all-star… Jason Smith is also pretty damn good 3rd big man insurance. Lets get us our PG of the future already and be done with this awkward post-CP3 era.

  11. This is the one new thought I have to add: The Pelicans are only getting Bledsoe for one cheap year, and so they only have one year to evaluate him as a starter before he hits the open market as a restricted free agent where the only control the Pelicans have is matching his offer. Sound familar? Like Eric Gordon familar? That’s the scenario we could be in in one year: Eric Bledsoe as the Eric Gordon of 2014 (hopefully minus the injuries)!

    So the only trade I would do to would be the multi-team trade of Eric Gordon for Eric Bledsoe (the Eric Gordon of 2014?!), Butler, and pick(s). Probably the only pick I NEED is the Minn. 2014 protected pick, although I would take more picks if I could get them.

    I am NEVER giving up Anderson or the 2014 1st round pick. And I am not sure what I need to get back to give up my 2013 pick (and only if the pick isn’t top 4 or 5), but it isn’t in these trades.

    Lopez, Vasquez, and the 2013 1st rounder are valuable enough pieces that I may want to get a somewhat lesser point guard for a much cheaper price. Let someone else do a modern ‘Herschel Walker type deal’ for Bledsoe and potentially wreck their franchise for years.

    • To be clear, I believe that if the Pelican’s trade Anderson one year after wooing him in free agency (and after the quality year he has had) they will have great difficulty signing future free agents. Frankly, future players won’t believe management when they say how much they want that player, why, etc.

      Look around the league and try to find situations where a team signed a free agent, it worked out, and they trade him s short time later. I don’t believe you will find many if any. And I think I have stated the reason why: it destroys management’s creditability.

      • Anderson, Gordon, and Lopez were restricted, so the woo level didn’t have to be too high, but this is a message to others regardless. These are the kinds of things that mature franchises think about, and I am so glad you brought this up.

        The Warrick, Carroll, etc. moves the Hornets made should also pay dividends (at some point) for the Pelicans.

        Excellent comment.

      • One of several factors which has made me believe that they will keep Gordon despite his obvious ploys to get traded.

        Loomis is NFL– they don’t let the players have that level of power. And they certainly don’t want their marquee return from CP3 giving Anthony Davis the road map out of town.

        The seemingly Monty-blessed hero ball EG was playing the last two weeks, alongside the surprising back-to-back play, shook my confidence in that some. Not a lot, but a smidge.

      • I think Loomis gets the Union’s power and player power. Now, at least.

        I also read the b2b relief as part of a larger sales pitch.

      • Oh I am sure he is aware of it. But there is no denying that some GMS have little to no leverage with players. Otis Smith signing anyone Howard wanted comes to mind (from what I remember, both Gilbert and G.Davis were signed at Howard’s insistence).

        But those are the kinds of things that happen when you arae wooing your star player on an ending deal. Not your second most important player on the first year.

        I feel like this is one of the few situations where having Loomis involved in the NFL is a bonus. I just feel like he has as much power to stonewall EG as any GM in the league.

        He has to be one of the most secure Head of Operations in the league. And that position is often a family member!

        But still, it is obvious Benson trusts him implicitly. That must make life easier.

    • I think it goes without saying that if we part with major assets we intend to pay what it costs to lock him up, there will be no assessment period, so if any trades similar to those above occur, that means brain ttrust thinks he can be one of our top 3/4 players. I love his game but that’s a tough call

  12. Pelicans need to add 10 to 15 wins next season, at least we hope. No one in this draft class will add those wins next season. So it comes down to whether Dell can convince the right veteran(s) to come to NO this summer in free agency. If not, then Dell will have to be more bold with a trade and Ryan may need to be the bait to help fill the holes. Granted its has only an outside chance of happening but it’s possible.

  13. What i love about bledsoe is his energy, speed, hustle and his passion every game…i like all the trade scenarios here especially this trade

    Eric Bledsoe, 2013 1st rounder, and DeAndre Jordan for Ryan Anderson and Lance Thomas

    we keep our pick and we added another one…and i think we will have the best defensive starting 5 in the league with this trade….we just need a healthy j-smitty next season and a much improved austin rivers so we will not miss ryno….

  14. In a heartbeat, without hesitation, giggling with anticipation: that Phoenix trade. Happily skipping all the way to the bank: the Lopez and 2013 first trade. All others I would have to think about.

    Seriously, shedding Gordon’s contract, leaving assets in place for future moves, retaining our 2014 pick, and still having enough money to make a splash in free agency? I’ll take it.

  15. I love the possibility of getting bledsoe and pairing him with oladipo in the draft. That would put potentially 3 all defensive 1st teamers on the same team in bledsoe, oladipo, and davis and not to mention that that would probably give us the fastest and most athletic team in the nba. If we could then get a shooter at the 3 I could see us starting davis at the 5 and anderson at 4 and there wouldnt be a team in the league that could keep up with that pace on offense

  16. I think that, if available, we should do the Anderson for Bledsoe and Jordan trade. This would help to balance out the roster while acquiring an influx of youth and athleticism that is sorely lacking now.

    I would also like to see the team trade Vasquez and Gordon, regardless of whether or not it be in a future trade for Bledsoe. While they are both fine players, they are not a winning backcourt. I feel that if we were able to trade them while acquiring a pick in the loaded 2014 draft, it would be a success. Trading them would allow the team to be lacking in terms of pure talent again, leading to a top 10 pick of its own in what looks to be a loaded draft.

    As Mr. McNamara often says, many are of the opinion that the reason that the Hornets ultimately failed to reach any substantial playoff success during the best years of the greatest point guard of our generation was because the team became too good too fast. We have our “Chris Paul” in Anthony Davis now, but people still seem to want to rush in and make a rash signing or move that jeopardizes the future for current success. The past is always one of the best ways to predict future outcomes. We need to learn from our past and trade Gordon and Vasquez so we can continue to rebuild with blue-chip prospects.

    Running with a future lineup of Bledsoe, Oladipo/Mclemore, a top 5 2014 pick at small forward, Davis, and Deandre Jordan or another brig man of your preference with Austin Rovers coming off the bench in a role similar to that of Lou Williams or Devin Harris seems to be the most logical course of action to me. If we want to continually be playoff fodder in the future for the Thunder, Rockets, Clippers, etc. than go ahead and make move focused on the present. However, if championships are what the Pelicans aspire to get, then the team should be focused on being bad for one more year to get high picks in what appears to be a loaded draft.

    Just my two cents. I realize I’m in the minority on being bad for another year, but being bad for two years after acquiring is how we can become a future contender, similar to he Thunder

    • Jordan is awful. He gets 25 minutes a game and loses minutes to the Ryan HOllins’ of the world. He and his bloated contract are the reason why the Clippers are so hamstrung going forward. I do not want.

      On the other hand, Ryan Anderson is a devastatingly efficient offensive weapon who will only get better as more talent is added around him. He has a very cap friendly contract, and he will be playing crunchtime minutes at the 4 w/ AD at the 5 when it comes down to it.

  17. Right before the 08 playoffs, I thought the Hornets were a strong veteran presence away from becoming legitimate contenders for the title. The strong playoff run that year confirmed it for me.

    When we signed Posey, I really thought that was the perfect (if a bit expensive) move. I even began to think that maybe the GM’s had a plan, even with the Peña signing, which when announced almost made me want to follow a new team.

    But we know now what happened. All of the future flexibility to support our bedrock(CP and West) was tied up in what sestemmed to be steady, good move vets- Peja, Mo.Pete and Posey. All of those players were considerably past their peak, and in Posey’s case had derived value from backing up a superstar and playing alongside AllStars.

    If it was up to me…never again. If Bledsoe had 3+ years on his current deal, I would be ready to talk. Not as it stands. He is in the weird state of value where there are no reasonable deals for him. Then team that gets him will have to overpay, bottom line. The body of work does not reflect the asking price, in my opinion.

    First I laughed when I saw Simmons has Vasquez as more valuable and said he would be drafted over Bledsoe today. But he has Clips season tickets. Even if he has overvalued Greivus, doesn’t it make you pause that a hoop head like Simmons has Bledsoe as less valuable than Gordon Heyward, Greivus Vasquez and Avery Bradley?

    And that is when he is cheap! I would love Bledsoe on the team, but put Ryan Anderson and top ten draft picks back in your pocket, please.

  18. Are we really to the point where we are considering trading Ryno for Eric Bledsoe and a crap contract (Jordan)?

    I’d way rather roll the dice on Trey Burke and his rookie deal or bank on Rivers developing into his role than trade for a guy that will probably get a 9-10mil/yr contract based solely on hype.

  19. That Phoenix trade is the one that makes me most excited. Adding Those picks would be nice, though I don’t expect them to be very high. I could see Dell getting some nice and cheap rotation players with those picks. What I like most is that even though the Pelicans are taking on Caron Butlers contract they get rid of Gordon’s. So if I am understanding things correctly with the inclusion of the 2013 pick they would receive from the Clippers the Pelicans might not lose any cap space in the trade; in fact the might gain some (I’m not an expert so I could be wrong but it sounds nice in my brain). This would allow the Pelicans to still go out and get a solid veteran Small Forward like Corey Brewer, and Dell could still use Vasquez as a trade piece to acquire more assets.

    The Pelicans also keep their pick so if they could add say Oladipo then Monty would have two super athletic defensive guards that he has been wanting. Caron Butler’s contract would be expiring which is nice, and though he is really only good when his 3pt is falling he would still add more space and offer another 3pt threat which would help take some of the pressure off Anderson. Though you would only have his services for a year if the Pelicans used their cap space to pick up someone like Brewer who can also add floor spacing then Butler could simply be a role player coming off the bench who could be replaced the next year via FA or or the draft.

    I think Dell would be able to get some nice pieces for Vasquez to add some nice depth to the Pelicans. Brian Roberts has done a solid job as backup and i think both Dell and Monty like the idea of keeping the cheaper and quicker Roberts as a back up guard (and Rivers will still be around).

    I also like that Lopez can remain on the team. Though he has his problems covering the pick n roll I would love to have him coming off the bench if the Pelicans were able to get a better center(though i am afraid of the Pelicans crowding the back court even more so if he has to be traded then so be it). If not I wouldn’t mind him starting as long as it doesn’t take any minutes away from Davis.

    With how well Beldsoe has played in the two playoff games against a solid Memphis D, throughout this year, and just his incredible upside make me excited for just the potential of having him as a Pelican. The possibilities this trade would open up are pretty interesting as well.

  20. BLedsoe not worth the risk especially if it means giving up Anderson or future first rounders. I believe we should draft a sf (porter,shabazz) and take our chances with rivers.
    Worst case senario, we suck for 1 more season and get a very high 2014 pick in what appears to be a very good draft.

  21. I would do any of the multi-teamers happily. I don’t like any of the single teamers, but if pressed, would consider Lopez, Vasquez, lottery-protected 2014

  22. I like Bledsoe, but I think we are offering way too much for the kid. I see no one mentioning how much these trades improve the Clippers. I could argue that LAC is gettng the better end of each of the proposed trades. If we are trying to win, and win big, helping a Western Conference team get even better and deeper is not the answer in my opinion.

  23. Personally, I think Bledsoe is not the answer if we have to overpay for him. Too many question marks when you start asking him to be a full time starting PG. I prefer a starting PG who has proven he can handle that job, and then I’d look to bring in a defensive stopper at the guard position to come off my bench on an as needed basis. I think our target should be Avery Bradley, not Bledsoe. We could get him for half the cost, and he’s just as effective, if not better on the defensive end. Coming off my bench, I’ll take it.

  24. Bledsoe will never be the passer vazquez is he brings defence & up-tempo.
    I would trade Lopez & Vaquez for Bledsoe & 25 pick

    My favorite off season

    1. Draft Trey Burke 5th pick
    Free Agents
    2. Dorell Wright (27) sf great 3pt shooter (2 years 4.5 per)
    3. Al Jefferson C 3 years 10 mil. per (Help Davis in the post & tutor our future super star)
    4. Re-sign Aminu, Smith, Roberts, Miller
    Sign Free Agent (with something to prove)
    Dejuan Blair Pf-C (vets min.) Tough as nails

    No over commiting while maintaning cap flexability
    What yall think???

    • Can’t have Burke and Gordon in the same backcourt, not with what Monty wants to run. If you trade Gordon, then Burke is in play. If not, I can’t see having a 6′ (maybe)/6’3 (maybe) backcourt.

  25. I don’t see Dell going for any of the two player trades. Probably the only one I see them pursuing is the second multi-team trade, but I would think that they would then look to ship Caron Butler off along with someone to make up salary differential to Minny in a sign and trade for Pekovich.

  26. To add to my previous post, I would look to sign Aminu to a 3 yr. $7MM contract and trade him and Caron Butler to Minny for Pekovich, if they could sign him to a 3 yr. $35MM contract. Of course, looking at Minny’s bloated salary position, I don’t see how they keep Pek anyway.

    • Nice to dream, but you’re not getting pekovic for scraps, in fact you’re probably not getting him at all

      • There current payroll for next year is already over $65 MM. Even if Roy doesn’t come back they are at $60 MM. They have to do something. I don’t see them paying a luxury tax.

  27. There are two things that will dictate the outcome of this offseason. 1.) What offers will you get for Gordon & 2.) Where does that lottery pick end up – if it’s in the top 3 you can fill either the SG or SF spot with a starter. If not, you can’t. Makes a big, big difference. In fact, if this pick is outside the top 3 it probably sets us back another year. If it is in the top 3, I see this team competing for the playoffs next year – especially if we get Porter. If you get the #1 pick, and take Noel, that definitely sets you back at least a year AND probably would affect your approach to free agency this offseason.

    I think you keep Gordon if you don’t get a decent offer. He played well at the end of the season, stayed healthy for more than half of the season, and should come into next season with no restrictions. If you get that top 3 pick, can you slide Gordon to de-facto point guard and pair him with Olidipo or McLemore? Can you swing Gordon in a sign and trade for Jennings? Would Golden State part with Klay Thompson if you agree to take on Richard Jefferson’s contract for a year? Can you deal him in a three way deal and get Bledsoe some how? If you get Porter, do you hold on to Gordon and put the rest of your resources towards acquiring a PG?

    If you keep Gordon, then Trey Burke is out of play in my opinion, you can’t match up Gordon/Burke in the same backcourt, the defensive deficiencies will be too great.

    If you get pick 6 or 7, do you try to trade it for veterans that eat up your cap space? Or do you instead take a player who can be a contributor at a fixed income and use your cap space in free agency?

    What vets are going to shake loose from teams via trade for nothing in order to clear cap space, a la Jarrett Jack or Al Jefferson? Would Denver shed Wilson Chandler or Danilo Gallinari so that they could re-sign Corey Brewer?

    If you trade Lopez, do you try to sign a better Post presence to decent deal, like a Milsap or a Jefferson?

    Let’s say we get pick 5 or 6, which is the most likely scenario.

    Ideally, I’d offer Denver Vasquez for Wilson Chandler & Andre Miller. They are log-jammed at the wng with Chandler, Gallinari, Fournier, and they want to re-sign Brewer & Iguadala. They are sitting at 57 million dollar payroll BEFORE re-signing Iggy or Brewer. Signing both would push them to around 75 million, so they would have to shed salary or pay big time penalties. Chandler is on the books for 6.3mill, 6.7mill, and a team option at 7.1 million. We can absorb that salary into our cap space. We get Andre Miller as our backup point, and they clear up around 8 million in cap space. Miller is on the books for two years at 5mill and 4.6 mill.

    Trade Lopez, Brian Roberts and our 2014 protected 1st round pick to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe. If they insist on our 2013 1st round pick, I’d think about it.

    The Clippers will get the opportunity to pick up a back up big guy and a possible first round pick in a strong 2014 draft (top 10 protected? top 8?) in return for a guy they won’t be able to re-sign.

    Sign Al Jefferson for 3 years/27 million.

    Re-sign Aminu for 3 years/7 million (same as what J-Smoove signed for)

    Re-sign Admundson and Mason

    PG: Bledsoe (2.6), Miller (5)
    SG: Gordon (14.3), Rivers (2.3) Mason (800k)
    SF: Chandler (6.3), Aminu (2.5), D.MIller (800k)
    PF: Davis (5.1), Anderson (8.3), Smith (2.5) Admundson (800)
    C: Jefferson (9), Davis, Smith

    First round pick – 2.8 million.

    That brings you right up against the cap. The next season, you would extend Bledsoe at 8 or 9 million for the first year. You would be over the cap (before any move), but under the tax. When it comes time to extend Davis – Jefferson, Gordon, Aminu, come off the books with a team option on Chandler.

    I like this team, a lot. You have two guys in the backcourt who can create their own shot and are excellent on ball defenders. You have a long SF who can be effective without the ball, play solid D, rebound and shoot the corner 3. You have Davis to pair with either Anderson or Jefferson, who despite his defensive liabilities (no more so than Lopez, especially on the PnR) gives you a great post offense option. Who else would you want working with AD on his post game??? You get your elite 4th big with Smith and a guy I love in Admundson (elite 5th big??) Aminu with the 2nd unit along with a sniper (Anderson), a guy who can get his own shot (Rivers), and a Saavy vet in Miller. This roster is flexible, deep, and young.

  28. Let me ask a dumb question. How does a team dump payroll if in any trade you have to take back players with approximately equivalent salaries?

    • If one team is under the cap (like the hornets will be) then they can absorb the salaries without having to match. If the teams are both over the cap then the salaries have to be within 125% of each other (I think)

  29. Dealer Dell,

    The following trade chips are off limits:

    Davis/Anderson/Rivers/Smith/2014 1st round pick

    Now do the best you can.

    You’re the best.



  30. Good piece.

    I like your blurb about the 2014 draft as compared to this draft because I 100% agree with the value of next years draft over this years draft. Next years draft will have MULTIPLE NBA All-Stars in it. If we move into the Top 3, I think it will be hard to not use this years pick, but drafting out of the #5 or #6 slot this year is very unappealing.

    If I am Dealer Dell and we get the #5 or #6 pick, I start looking into what team might be interested in trading up. I would take Shabazz if he fell there and it would be an upgrade for our team, but I would much rather see him use this pick to try and get a piece like Bledsoe or an additional pick in next years draft.

    Of all the trades you listed, I like the last one that sends Eric Gordon packing the most. It is time to part ways and if we can get Bledsoe in any package for Gordon than I think you have to make the deal.

  31. to the author…this is as fine a piece of writing/analysis as you will find. well done and clearly stated

    this one:

    Eric Gordon to Phoenix, Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat to Clippers, Caron Butler, Eric Bledsoe, and picks to Pelicans

    would take me about a nanosecond to agree to if i were dell
    dudley had a terrible year and gortat needs a change in scenery, so i see PHX agreeing to move them both, but i have to believe that they have at least had their lust for gordon tempered by this past year

    so…i’m calling that one wishful thinking unless you know something we dont about the suns

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