The Los Angeles Clippers traded Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and Daniel Oturu to the Memphis Grizzlies for Eric Bledsoe this past weekend.
On its face, the move is a puzzling one.
Bledsoe is a relatively strong defender for his position, but his offense leaves a lot to be desired. He averaged 12.2 points and 3.8 assists in 71 games last season, but did his offensive damage on 42.1 percent shooting from the field, 34.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc, and 68.7 percent shooting from the charity stripe.
Seeing as Kawhi Leonard has been begging the Clippers for years now to get a proper offensive-minded point guard, many struggled to see the rationale behind this transaction.
As it turns out, the answer boils down to just one thing: money.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, this trade saves LA a ton of cash.
“The deal saves the Clippers $30 million in luxury tax and creates an $8.3 million traded-player exception that they will have a year to use,” he wrote.
Moreover, the trade makes financial sense for the Grizzlies as well.
“The trade gives the Grizzlies salary-cap flexibility in the summer of 2022, when Bledsoe is guaranteed $3.9 million of the $19.3 million in the last year of his deal,” Wojnarowski continued.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 15, 2021
“Memphis has 16 guaranteed contracts now and will be open to trades for some of the players returning in this deal, sources said. The Grizzlies are open-minded on how they all might fit into the team, but Memphis already has a packed roster.”
It will be interesting to see how this move eventually works out for all parties involved. Beverley has already come out and offered an interesting response on Twitter. More reactions are sure to follow.
Will the Clippers and Grizzlies ultimately be in a better place come next year as a result of this weekend’s trade? Time will tell.