No Movement in L.A. Clippers’ Championship Odds after Trading for Eric Bledsoe

Eric Bledsoe With Clippers Background

  • The L.A. Clippers’ championship odds remained at +1600 despite acquiring guard Eric Bledsoe from the Memphis Grizzlies.
  • L.A. traded veteran guards Patrick Beverley and Rajon Rondo plus 2020 second-rounder Daniel Oturu to accrue Bledsoe.
  • The Clippers will save $30M in luxury tax payments and get an $8.3M trade exception in the deal.

The L.A. Clippers made their first big move of the offseason, but apparently, it wasn’t big enough for the oddsmakers.

On Sunday, Steve Ballmer’s team acquired guard Eric Bledsoe from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Patrick Beverley and Rajon Rondo. Given Bledsoe’s reputation and resume, the trade looked significant on paper. However, it didn’t move the Clippers’ chances to win the 2022 NBA championship. Or at least that’s what the oddsmakers are saying:

Moving Up the Oddsboards May Not Be the Clippers’ Intention

But while the Clippers’ championship odds were the first thing that was noticed after the trade, moving up in the oddsboard may not have been the Clippers’ main intention in dealing for Bledsoe.

According to salary cap expert Bobby Marks, the acquisition of Bledsoe will reduce the Clippers’ luxury tax bill from $125M to $95M or an estimated $30M reduction. Aside from that, since they received a salary of lesser value to the contracts they parted with, the Clippers will get an $8.3M trade exception which they could use this year.

Of course, Bledsoe is an upgrade from Beverley and Rondo. But it’s just trading a guard for a pair of older guards. The Clippers have re-signed playoff breakout star Reggie Jackson and he’s very likely the stating point guard next season. With that said, Beverley and Rondo would’ve been older and more expensive backups. The Clippers needed only one but instead of choosing between the two, they flipped both for a younger Bledsoe who may be an upgrade as back-up. That’s still a win for the Clippers, regardless of how the oddsmakers look at it right now.

Kawhi Leonard’s Surgery

Moving up the championship oddsboard may be the last thing on the Clippers’ mind right now. Kawhi Leonard is expected to be out for a significant part of the regular season after undergoing surgery. Without Leonard, the Clippers aren’t the same championship caliber team and their main concern right now will be holding the fort until he returns.

The Clippers aren’t too far from where they were when the 2022 NBA Championship odds opened at BetOnline. Although they’ve dropped to +1600 in the latest odds boards, that slight difference can be attributed to Leonard’s expected absence at the start of the season. Otherwise, the Clippers are within striking distance of the other betting favorites.

If there’s something that makes Tyronn Lue sleep at night these days, it’s the fact that the Clippers outscored their opponents by 49 points in the 480 minutes of the 2021 Playoffs that they played without Leonard. Paul George’s MVP odds of +3300 is in the Top 15 and if he continues what he started during the playoffs, the Clippers should be fine until they get Leonard back.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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