Since losing to the Phoenix Suns in their first ever appearance in the Western Conference Finals, not much good news has come out of Los Angeles in regards to the Clippers throughout the NBA offseason. The worst of the news has been the fact that Kawhi Leonard’s knee injury was more serious than first said and it turned out that Leonard underwent surgery to repair a partially torn ACL in his right knee on July 14.
While a timetable was not laid out for Leonard’s return, it is expected that he will miss the start of the 2021-22 season and he may not be ready to take the court until after the All-Star break. There is a lot of unknown in regards to Kawhi Leonard’s status for the 2021-22 season and as a result, a lot of pressure now falls on the shoulders of Paul George.
The 7x All-Star shooting guard is definitely not afraid of being the leader of the Clippers and Paul George has been a superstar player his entire career, but Leonard being out definitely affects this team’s chances of being a real title threat. Bringing back both Nic Batum and Reggie Jackson definitely helps, but the Clippers are going to need a lot of help with Leonard out.
Looking for ways to add more talent, the Clippers made a move on Sunday night to acquire veteran guard Eric Bledsoe from the Memphis Grizzlies for Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and Daniel Oturu. The “Rondo-experience” did not work out the way the Clippers had imagined, as he only played in 18 regular season games after being traded to L.A. at the NBA trade deadline and barely played in the postseason for them.
Moving on from Rondo’s contract was something the Clippers had in mind this offseason and it seemed like the “writing had been on the wall” for some time now in regards to Patrick beverley. He has held a solid role in the Clippers’ plans year-by-year, but other than being a tough defender, there was not much else he brought to the table in terms of helping this team be a real title threat.
For the Grizzlies, moving on from Eric Bledsoe was something they had been interested in doing ever since they acquired him prior to the NBA Draft. Memphis has been known to take on larger contracts and flip them around for something valuable for a handful of years now and they did so again with Bledsoe.
By trading him to the Clippers for Beverely, Rondo and Oturu, they do now have 17 players on their roster, but there are some big advantages for the Grizzlies, which we will talk about shortly. This was definitely a trade that came out of nowhere and not many expected that the Clippers would be the team to target Bledsoe, but the former Clipper could actually wind up being a valuable asset for them in the backcourt.
Who won this trade between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies? Let’s take a look at what this deal means for both teams and the grade each team should receive for this four player deal.