There's mutual interest between the Clippers and Jazz in a deal that would have point guard Eric Bledsoe and power forward Paul Millsap trading places, report Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com. While Clippers vice president of basketball ops Gary Sacks says the team is not actively shopping Bledsoe or anyone else on the team's roster, it's clear the team is open to making a move of some kind, particularly with Bledsoe, who's also reportedly been at the heart of discussion with the Celtics about Kevin Garnett.
A pair of sources insisted to ESPN that the Clippers wouldn't make a move before the trade deadline, but two other sources gave Shelburne and Stein indications that the Clippers and Jazz will at least explore whether a Bledsoe-Millsap deal is workable. L.A. would have to add close to $6.4MM worth of salary to the deal to make the numbers match, as there's a wide gap between Millsap's $8.6MM take this season and Bledsoe's $1.7MM. Shelburne and Stein hear the Clippers are reluctant to break up their roster, given the team's 17-game winning streak earlier this season.
The Jazz have been giving mixed signals on whether they're more likely to trade Millsap or Al Jefferson, both of whom will be free agents this summer. The Nets appear to have interest in Millsap as well, and the Trail Blazers have also been linked to the power forward. Trading Millsap away would open up minutes for former No. 3 overall pick Derrick Favors at the four in Utah, and Bledsoe would strengthen the team's backcourt, which has been a weakness. Millsap would probably have to come off the bench for the Clippers, unless coach Vinny Del Negro wanted to play him or Blake Griffin out of position.