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Report: Clippers, Magic discussing deal involving Bledsoe and Afflalo

By Royce Young | NBA writer

The Clippers finally got their coach, but they might not be done making offseason noise.

According to ESPN.com, the Clippers are discussing a trade that would send Eric Bledsoe to Orlando in exchange for Arron Afflalo and possibly Andrew Nicholson.

This isn't the first time word of this potential deal has surfaced. The same rumor floated around a few weeks ago as well.

Bledsoe has become quite a hot trade chip recently as it's become clear the Clippers aren't likely to keep him once he hits restricted free agency next summer. New coach Doc Rivers, however, is said to be a Bledsoe fan and would prefer to keep the young point guard to aid in the Clippers' backcourt depth. And with Rivers not just being a coach but a very prominant voice in the front office now as vice president of basketball operations, what he says will likely go.

Afflalo was acquired by the Magic in the four-team Dwight Howard deal and is owed $23 million over the next three years. In order for the swap to go through, the Clippers would likely have to add another piece or two to match up salaries, possibly Caron Butler.

Afflalo is a very good wing defender and a player that would be a tremendous backcourt addition in Los Angeles. Shooting guard is a current hole for the Clips, and adding Afflalo while only giving up a bench player could be a terrific deal for them. The issue is that Bledsoe was such an effective bench player for the Clippers and having him behind Chris Paul -- who has dealt with injuries in the past -- is an excellent insurance policy.

The other issue for the Clippers and Bledsoe was there was uncertainty around Paul and whether or not he'd re-sign. The Clippers were hesitant to deal Bledsoe before that was locked up. But with Rivers essentially assuring CP3 will return, it makes Bledsoe more expendable.

The Magic are in a position where they could deal Afflalo and unload a little salary while using their No. 2 overall pick on either Ben McLemore or Victor Oladipo to step into that role, while also adding a talented young point guard. The deal makes sense on a number of levels, really.

Which means it probably won't happen.

 
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