Eric Bledsoe returns to LA for second stint with Clippers

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Bledsoe, who is 31, was drafted by the Clippers in 2010. He spent last season with New Orleans, averaging 12.2 points and three .4 rebounds. He last played for the Clippers within the 2012-13 season, averaging 8.5 ppg, 3.0 RPG, and three .1 APG before being dealt with the Phoenix Suns as a neighborhood of a three-team deal that brought Caron Butler to the Clippers.

The 2021-22 season is going to be the ultimate one in Bledsoe’s current deal and he’s another veteran within the mix for a Clippers team led by All-Stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Leonard recently signed a reported four-year, $176 million deal to remain with L.A., while George signed an extension with the Clippers last season. Both moves keep those stars with the Clippers through a minimum of the 2023-24 season (both players have player options for the 2024-25 season on their contracts).

In the offseason, the Clippers mostly held tight, re-signing Leonard and Nicolas Batum while also adding young forward Justice Winsloe in representation. the remainder of the team that reached the franchise’s first Western Conference finals in 2020-21 remains intact as L.A. gears up for what it hopes is going to be its first Finals berth in team history come 2021-22.

After spending four seasons with the Suns (2013-17), he was dealt with the Milwaukee Bucks early within the 2017-18 season after he was clearly disgruntled about playing for Phoenix any longer. While with the Bucks, he became an All-Defensive Team selection in 2018-19 and 2019-20, but his playoff production led to the Bucks trading him to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2020 as a neighborhood of the mega-trade that brought Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee.

In the offseason, the Pelicans dealt Bledsoe to the Memphis Grizzlies as a neighborhood of a pre-Draft trade that wasn’t finalized until after the Draft. The Grizzlies were slated to select 17th but moved up by sending center Jonas Valanciunas and 2021 draft picks (No. 17 and No. 51) to the Pelicans for Steven Adams, Bledsoe and 2021 picks (No. 10 and No. 40) alongside a top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick. The No. 10 pick, Zaire Williams, visited Memphis within the deal.

Memphis added Loyola (Maryland) 6-foot-11 center/forward Santi Aldama with the ultimate pick of the primary round at No. 30 during a draft-night trade with Utah because the Jazz made the choice. The Grizzlies sent their second-round pick (No. 40) and two future second-round picks in exchange. Beverley and Rondo were veterans who played a key role within the Clippers’ run to the West finals while Oturu, a second-round pick within the 2020 Draft, played in only 30 games last season.

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