Navigating the trade waters is difficult. Lies are told, feelings get hurt. Former Clipper and current New Orleans Hornets guard Eric Gordon is still upset over how former Clippers GM Neil Olshey apparently told him he wouldn’t be traded, then traded him a few days later. It’s the nature of the business, but you have to protect your players publicly when a rumor like “DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe for Kevin Garnett” comes up, even if it’s coming from somewhere outside of your front office.
The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers have been discussing a deal to trade forward Kevin Garnett for guard Eric Bledsoe and center DeAndre Jordan, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
There are differing factions within the Celtics and Clippers on the prudence of the deal, but the two teams have been in regular contact about the possibility, sources said.
Nevertheless, the biggest hurdle could ultimately center on Garnett’s willingness to waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal to the Clippers.
Because of his home in Malibu, and a close relationship with Clippers guard Chauncey Billups, there’s hope that Garnett, a 15-time All-Star, could be coaxed into accepting a trade if an agreement is reached, sources said.
And then earlier today, there was Kevin Garnett saying he would waive his no-trade clause, which would seem to pretty much put an end to things — for the most part. Here’s Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times talking to Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks:
“I haven’t called anybody to say, ‘Hey, we have Eric Bledsoe and would you like him?’ Or, ‘We have DeAndre Jordan or we have anybody and would you want them?’ That’s not where I am right now with this team,” Sacks said in a phone interview from Houston on Saturday. “That’s not where we are.”
Sacks said Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro and his staff have “the roster to win.”
“It’s up to the coaching staff to figure out a way to get those guys to win games,” Sacks said. “If they don’t feel like we have enough talent, then that’s their problem.”
Saying you’re talking with teams but not actively shopping a player is always the way to go. It’s the safe way to proceed when rumors are floating around everywhere.
It’s the second part of that quote that’s telling, however: “If they don’t feel like we have enough talent, then that’s their problem.”
Remember the “differing factions” Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned in his report yesterday? Well, this is it. The coaching staff has their own agenda and desires, and the front office has theirs. That’s a problem, obviously, and it stems from the top.
When Donald Sterling kicked the can down the road another year and brought back Vinny Del Negro on a one year deal, he set the team up for a situation like this. The Clippers have far exceeded expectations with a 39-17 record, but Del Negro is still viewed as the biggest impediment to playoff success for the Clippers.
Del Negro is no dummy. He knows that if the Clippers don’t make it deep into the playoffs, he’ll be held largely responsible. Unless, maybe, his front office doesn’t provide him with the trade he was clamoring for. Then there’s a built-in excuse to put right in Sterling’s ear.
It’s a win-win situation for Del Negro. Either he gets Garnett and his biggest coaching decisions (finding time for Bledsoe, playing Jordan in fourth quarters) go by the wayside, or he builds himself a safety net so to help him keep his job going forward.
It’s hard to blame Del Negro if this is truly the case. He needs to play the game, just like everyone else. When the Clippers hired Vinny Del Negro, the organization fawned over how “presidential” he was. They had no idea.