As the trade deadline nears, rumors are beginning to heat up. According to a Sporting News report, The Los Angeles Clippers are interested in acquiring Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics. The deal would revolve around DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe.
The rumor also implies that head coach Vinny Del Negro and DeAndre Jordan are not seeing eye-to-eye:
Del Negro and Jordan have frequently clashed over playing time, the source said, and there is a chance he could be moved before Thursday’s deadline for a veteran big man, even if it is not in a deal for Garnett. Before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao got injured, the Clippers had inquired about him.
Since the Clippers are seemingly open to dealing Jordan, here are a few of the best trade packages and destinations.
As mentioned above, the Clippers did have some interest in Varejao. While they would not trade for Varejao before the deadline, a Varejao for Jordan swap could be a deal to keep an eye on this summer.
Varejao brings exactly the type of rebounding and defense that the Clippers desperately need. Jordan is certainly not at the same level defensively that Varejao is at. He would also bring a lot of toughness and energy to a team that already has plenty of scorers and finesse players.
Jordan and future draft picks along with the cash to offset the difference in salaries could interest Cleveland. Jordan would fit into Cleveland’s rebuilding plan and provide the team with an athletic shot-blocker who looks to be developing on offense.
There is absolutely no doubt the Clippers would be a title contender with Garnett on the roster. His ability to space the floor would make the Clippers offense even better than it already is. They are currently seventh in offensive efficiency, according to Hoopdata.
Furthermore, Garnett’s intensity and defense would fit perfectly. Garnett’s ability to defend the opposing team’s best big man would take some of the pressure off of Blake Griffin to stay locked-in on defense. This season, Griffin has played better team and individual defense, but he is nowhere near the defender that KG is.
This would also be a great package for Boston. Combining Eric Bledsoe and Jordan in a deal for KG would give Danny Ainge plenty of options this summer as he attempts to reconstruct the Celtics. Bledsoe is one of the most coveted players on the trade, market and Jordan gives them a young big man to anchor their defense.
The Hornets attempted to snag Eric Bledsoe in the Chris Paul trade last year, but the Clippers would not budge. They might this time.
Ryan Anderson has proven that he is one of the league’s best shooters, having shot 38.9 percent for his career. He is also 6’10" and would finally give the Clippers and Chris Paul the stretch 4 they have desperately needed.
Paul is at his best when in pick-and-roll situations where his big man can stretch the floor and open up the lane for Paul to attack. Look no further than David West when he played with Paul in New Orleans. West’s ability to hit open jumpers put the defense in a bind, and Paul would frequently come off the screen and connect with Tyson Chandler for lob after lob. That would essentially be the same scenario, only with Anderson shooting and Blake Griffin doing what he does best, finishing.
In addition, the Hornets could include Robin Lopez to be the Clippers' defensive center in exchange for Bledsoe and Jordan. Bledsoe would form an impressive defensive duo with Anthony Davis. Jordan would allow Davis to develop as a power forward, his more natural position.
Regardless, DeAndre Jordan is firmly on the trading block, the only question is if management pulls the trigger on a deal during one of the best seasons in Clippers history. Combining Jordan and Bledsoe in a package surely would bring a hefty return to the Clippers.
Considering the team’s play of late and the need for a big man who can either shoot or defend, a trade seems logical. Factor in Del Negro and Jordan’s feud, and the rumors begin to grow legs. One thing is for certain, plenty of teams will be calling the Clippers with offers.
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