Before breaking out as a star, Eric Bledsoe played the first few years of his career as a reserve with the Los Angeles Clippers. With the team currently perceived as one that lacks a quality option at point guard, a new trade idea recommended that the Clippers could bring the veteran back in a deal that would send Patrick Beverley to the New Orleans Pelicans.
As recapped on Bleacher Report’s latest list of trade suggestions for all 30 NBA teams, the offseason came and went with the Clippers failing to address superstar forward Kawhi Leonard’s supposed request for an upgrade at the point guard position. The outlet stressed that the team can still do that ahead of the March 25 deadline and make a move that could improve their chances of winning a championship while preventing Leonard from opting out of the final year of his contract and entering free agency.
“An aggressive move for Eric Bledsoe, who spent his first three seasons with the Clippers, could send that message pretty clearly. He’s a more natural playmaker than any of L.A.’s nominal floor generals, and if his early shooting success sustains (37.1 percent from distance), he shouldn’t spoil the squad’s offensive spacing.”
Talking about the package the Clippers could offer to New Orleans, the publication wrote that Beverley might be seen as a “cleaner fit” for the latter club’s young roster, which features high-scoring forwards Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, as well as fourth-year point guard Lonzo Ball. As noted, Beverley is a “more proven shooter” than Bledsoe and isn’t as ball-dominant, which could mean more touches for the aforementioned youngsters.
In addition, Bleacher Report suggested that if a straight swap wouldn’t appeal to the Pelicans, the Clippers could sweeten the hypothetical deal by offering players such as backup center Mfiondu Kabengele and possibly a future second-round draft pick as well.
According to his Basketball-Reference player page, Bledsoe is averaging 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists, with shooting percentages of 42.9 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc for the Pelicans. He spent the prior two-and-a-half seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he posted averages of 14.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in 2019-20 while playing alongside two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The above scenario isn’t the only point-guard-for-point-guard trade involving Bledsoe that has been proposed in recent weeks. Last month, it was suggested that the Toronto Raptors could land the 31-year-old playmaker in a deal that would send Kyle Lowry to the Pelicans.