Report: Toronto Raptors exploring trade for Clippers’ Eric Bledsoe
The Toronto Raptors have significant interest in on-the-block Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe and the two teams have begun exploring trade options, ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting.
23-year-old Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan is “most likely to tempt the Clippers,” but Toronto would try to include forward Andrea Bargnani in any deal for Bledsoe, Stein reports.
DeRozan averaged 18.1 points per game in 2012-13, his fourth season, but shot just 28.3 percent from three-point range.
The Clippers have discussed trading Bledsoe to the Orlando Magic for shooting guard Arron Afflalo throughout June, and GM Rob Henigan said at Thursday’s draft that Orlando “may revisit” those talks.
The Detroit Pistons have also expressed interest in Bledsoe, according to reports. It is unknown whether new Clippers head coach and senior vice president of basketball operations Doc Rivers would approve parting with Bledsoe.
From the report:
Some rival executives believe that the Raptors are prepared to part with DeRozan — recipient of a $40 million contract extension last October — in the wake of Rudy Gay’s arrival and the front-office change that ushered out Bryan Colangelo (who authorized DeRozan’s new deal) and ushered in Masai Ujiri.
Rivers’ arrival clearly hasn’t stopped teams from calling for Bledsoe, but Rivers is a well-known fan of the 23-year-old and has indicated he’d like to keep Bledsoe around if possible.
Yet the greater likelihood remains that keeping Bledsoe around as Chris Paul’s very capable backup is a luxury that the Clippers won’t be able to afford as they continue to try to construct a roster with title-contending staying power. Clippers veteran forward Caron Butler likely would have to be included in any Bledsoe deal to make the salary-cap math work, but sources say the teams have discussed a variety of options.