Hot off the press! Rumors of the Raptors in talks with the clips for Eric Bledsoe. By now most Orlando fans have become aware of the Magic's interest in point guard Eric Bledsoe. What has inspired me to write this post was simply handicapping the Raptors roster and salary commitments.
Sure Toronto has a need for a point guard but who do they have that would entice the Clipps? The only logical contender would be DeMar DeRozan with his 9 million annual salary. This is why I believe there is some gamesmanship going on between the Clipps and Magic! If you recall the headliner in the Magic's rumored proposal was Arron Afflalo. He and DeRozan both play the shooting guard position. This could be the Clippers front office making an attempt to inflate Bledsoe's trade value and coax another asset from the Magic and Rob Hennigan.
It has been suggested by many pundits that the Clipps are looking for that essential three and D guy. From what we now about Afflalo and Derozan only one player matches that description. If LA is looking for shooting and defense they better come back state side asap because DeRozan is not there man. He is listed at sub 24% from long distance for his career!
The Clippers are trying to build a championship caliper roster. If they keep Griffin and CP3 as there core they face many salary cap challenges in the future. Owner Donald Sterling will never go deep into the tax. He may be willing to tip toe in it for a bit but he's no Mikhail Prokhorov. So Rudy Gay and players commanding those types of salaries are off limits.
Putting all this together my instinct tells me theres no validity in the Clipps being truly interested in a deal with Toronto. There real motivation might be to get the Magic to up there offer. It was previously rumored the Magic were offering a package consisting of Afflalo/Nicholson, could Sacks want more? Draft pick maybe? Or our least favorable 2014 draft pick perhaps? If theres one thing we learned from the recent Clippers and Celtics negotiations is that the culture has changed in LA. There is a new sheriff in town and his name is Gary Sacks. Will Rob Hennigan call this bluff? Will he fold his hand to fight another day. Only time will tell and I for one am intrigued and excited to see how this one unfolds.