The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly deep in talks with the Boston Celtics in a trade that would involve Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Coach Doc Rivers to LA in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, draft picks and possibly Eric Bledsoe.
Bledsoe seems to be the problem here because the Clippers know he’s a valuable trade asset, and they’re also reportedly looking to package him with Blake Griffin to the Los Angeles Lakers for Dwight Howard in a sign-and-trade.
Here’s the quick money breakdown:
Doc Rivers - $21 million over the next three years
Paul Pierce - $15.3 million next year (but he can be bought out for $5 million)
Kevin Garnet - $11.5 million in 2013-14, $12 million 2014-15
DeAndre Jordan – $10.9 million in 2013-14, $11.4 million in 2014-15
Eric Bledsoe – $2.6 million in 2013-14, $3.7 million in 2014-15
Blake Griffin - $16.4 million in 2013-14, $17.6 million in 2014-15, $18.8 million in 2015-16, $20 million in 2016-17
The Lakers are obviously going to give Howard a max contract. They’re also famously in trouble with the luxury tax already and looking to empty the books, so it’s difficult to see how they would even consider taking on Griffin’s huge contract.
However, Bledsoe holds a ton of value when you look at what he brings to the table for the price.
The problem is, if they’re holding out hope to get Howard, they’ll have to keep holding on for a few more weeks, and by then the Celtics may have cooled on their offer.
Making a straight across trade of Pierce, Garnett and Rivers for Jordan, Bledsoe and picks is terrible for the Clippers. They’ll get two old players on the last legs of their careers and a great coach.
However, if they’re willing to pay that much for a coach, why wouldn’t they just sign one of the coaches currently available, like George Karl.
As for the Lakers’ involvement, Bledsoe could greatly improve their aging roster, but Blake Griffin would be a terrible obligation to take on. Especially with the star-studded free agent class coming next year, which could include LeBron James if he doesn’t pick up his option.