The Los Angeles Clippers are trading PG Eric Bledsoe, G/F Justise Winslow and rookie Keon Johnson to the Portland Trail Blazers for G Norman Powell and SF Robert Covington, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday. The Clippers are also sending a future second-round pick to Portland as part of the deal.
This could be a sign that the Trail Blazers are going to blow things up and sell off more players before the NBA Trade Deadline, which is set for Feb. 10 next Thursday. Portland is on the fringe of the play-in tournament picture in the Western Conference at 21-31 in 10th place. Damian Lillard remains sidelined. The team isn’t competing for a title anytime soon.
For the Clippers, this is a pretty nice deal. Los Angeles has been staying afloat without Paul George and he could be back in time for the playoffs. This makes the Clippers a pretty interesting NBA championship pick depending on what the line is.
Update — Ummmm, DraftKings Sportsbook has the Clippers back on the board at 40/1? Get that line while you still can, it could move. Even if it’s just PG-13 coming back for the Clippers and Kawhi is unable to return, the Clippers will be tough to play against and very deep. Leonard isn’t expected to return this season but things can change. Amir Coffey and Terance Mann are effectively the 9-10 guys in terms of depth? The depth on the wing for L.A. is insane.
The Clippers add Powell and RoCo to a lineup that has been carried by veterans Reggie Jackson, Serge Ibaka and Marcus Morris. With Bledsoe being the only regular heading to Portland, the Clippers keep most of the depth while adding two starting-caliber players. Powell and RoCo should come off the bench once PG-13 and Leonard are healthy. L.A. will be super deep and experienced for the playoffs if everything works out.
Some of the lineups the Clippers can run in the playoffs are super scary. They can go ultra tough with Jackson, PG-13, Kawhi, Morris and Ibaka. They can go small ball with RoCo at center to stretch the floor with Powell and Jackson/Kennard playing with PG-13 and Kawhi. Jackson, PG-13, Leonard, Morris, Ibaka for crunch time. The possibilities are endless really.