The Clippers frontcourt was one of their big question marks coming into this season. They had locked down the combination of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan through the 2015 season, but that still did not answer much. Lamar Odom was out of shape, and Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins were bodies, but not to be counted on for production. For all the questions, they have out-performed their expectations half way through the season, but it isn’t enough. The Clippers front court needs help.
In his third year in the league, Eric Bledsoe is the Clipper’s most desirable trade piece. He is highly desirable and plays a position the Clippers are deep at now. But that is now. The Clippers can win now, but whether that new frontcourt depth is worth sacrificing Eric Bledsoe is a tough question.
The Clippers have very potent depth in the back court. Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, and Jamal Crawford are all go to players. Eric Bledsoe is still scratching the surface of the player he can be. How can the Clippers consider trading away anyone nicknamed “Mini Lebron.” If he really is mini-Lebron, he might have a mini-run as good as Lebron’s stretch of late, or has a mini-MVP type season. Bledsoe is the future. At worst Bledsoe is Kyle Lowry, at best he is behind Derek Rose and Russell Westbrook in attacking the basket, and a relentless defender. As he continues to learn how to attack defenses he only gets better.
And with the injury problems that both Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups have had this year, I don’t think you can sacrifice Bledsoe. That is a similar argument though for why the Clippers need frontcourt help. If something happens to Jordan or Griffin the Clippers are a significantly worse team. But Bledsoe is effective enough as he is today that the Clippers can still go for it now, and keep him for the future.
If the Clippers shipped out Bledsoe for Paul Milsap in Utah (Utah, which has plenty of young big men) or Kevin Garnett the Clippers defense, rebounding, and points in the paint get significantly better. They each spread the floor well because they knock down jumpers as well. They would play a majority of the minutes and finish games as well since DeAndre Jordan has so much trouble at the free throw line.
But the free agent no one talks much about is Chris Paul. He is a free agent at the end of the season. He has gone all in with the Clippers the past 2 seasons. But there is still no security without either Paul or Billups signed on for next season. The Clippers like DeAndre Jordan. He is an uncommon mix of size and athleticism in a league where size matters less than it once did. But they need Eric Bledsoe, this year and in the future.
Do the Clippers Need Eric Bledsoe LA Sports Hubsters?