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Report: Clippers trade Beverley, Rondo, Oturu to Grizzlies for Bledsoe

2021 NBA Playoffs - 	LA Clippers v Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 28: Patrick Beverley #21 of the LA Clippers looks on during the game against the Phoenix Suns during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 28, 2021 at Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Clippers had a logjam at the point guard spot: Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo, the just re-signed Reggie Jackson, and Jason Preston. And in practice, Paul George has taken on a lot of the primary shot creation duties in the past year, serving more as a traditional point guard.

The Clippers cleared out that logjam — and may have created one for the Grizzlies — with a trade that brings Eric Bledsoe back home. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the trade.

This was a pretty random and unexpected trade. It also doesn’t really move the needle for either side.

For the Clippers, it lowers their payroll and will save them about $25-$30 million once the luxury tax is figured in, reports Bobby Marks of ESPN. The Clippers also create an $8.3 million trade exception they can use later to bring in a player.

On the court, this leaves the Clippers a point guard rotation where Bledsoe and Jackson get the bulk of the minutes, two score-first guards who can soak up some of the offense lost with Kawhi Leonard likely out for the season. Bledsoe makes $18.1 million this season but only has $3.9 million of next season’s contract guaranteed. Bledsoe was drafted by the Clippers and spent the first three seasons of his career there, but with Chris Paul in Los Angeles at the time there was a ceiling for Bledsoe’s role and minutes.

In Beverley, the Clippers give up a player who was at the heart of their fire and personality a couple of years ago, but his role had changed. Rumors the Clippers were willing to trade him had bounced around the league for a year, but it never felt likely.

For the Grizzlies, other moves will follow. Ja Morant is the starting point guard now and into the foreseeable future, with Tyus Jones solidly behind him. Bledsoe — acquired in the Steven Adams/Jonas Valenciunas trade with the Pelicans — was never a fit. Patrick Beverley is a good fit in a grit-and-grind kind of way and can bring some fire and defense, but more likely he is flipped to a contender at some point.

Rondo may be traded again as well, or bought-out, if he’s willing to take a discount. The Grizzlies currently have 16 guaranteed contracts, one of those has to come off the books by the start of training camp. The most likely option in Daniel Oturu gets waived, but other things could happen.

The Grizzlies turned Bledsoe’s hard-to-move contract into three more tradable ones, which may be the end game.