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Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks Complete Three-Way Trade

by Photo of Scott Davis

A three-way trade in the NBA has sent players in all directions and benefitted the Clippers immensely

Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks Complete Three-Way Trade

Seemingly out of nowhere yesterday evening, the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, and Milwaukee Bucks completed a three-way deal that sent four players and two picks to new homes. The Clippers, somehow, the team with likely the least amount of leverage in building their team during this free agency period, came out on top. L.A. managed to grab J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley from the Bucks and Suns, respectively, while sending Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to the Suns, and one second round pick to the Bucks. Nice work, Clippers.

Let's break down how this deal worked for each team:

How the Clippers increased their contender chances:

Weeks ago it was feared that the strides the Clippers made to becoming a 50-win playoff team would all be for nothing if Chris Paul left Los Angeles. Now, in a matter of one week, they've landed one of the best coaches in the NBA in Doc Rivers, re-signed Paul to a long-term deal, and swung a trade for one of the NBA's best shooting guards and one of the most under-appreciated wingmen.

Losing Eric Bledsoe -- a young, hyper-athletic, promising guard -- hurts, but last year's valuable wing, Matt Barnes, might bolt in free agency, and the Clippers got rid of Caron Butler whom they were paying $8 million for below-average production. Redick will rake in handsome pay checks this season, but he's worth it for the Clips. He's been flying under the radar the last couple of seasons, but has become, arguably, a top ten shooting guard in the NBA. The last three seasons, when adjusting his production to 36 minutes per game, Redick has averaged 15.3 points per game on 39.3% from three-point range, with 2.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists. Combined with Jamal Crawford (assuming he'll remain with the team), Redick gives the Clippers another floor-spacer, a good passer, and a guy who can create his own shot in spurts.

Grabbing Jared Dudley from the Suns is another steal in its own right. Dudley has also quietly been one of the best wings in the NBA for the last few seasons. Like Redick, when adjusting Dudley's minutes per 36, a very productive, efficient player is revealed. His career stats, per 36 minutes, read: 13.3 points per game (on just ten shots per game), 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.3 steals, and 47.3% FG and 40.5% 3FG. His Suns teams were always several points worse in Defensive Rating with Dudley off the floor.

The Clippers are a little shallow and lacking depth on the bench with several players being traded or lost to free agency, but a core of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Paul, Crawford, Redick, and Dudley is a really nice place to start.

How the Suns did OK for themselves:

The Suns are in the midst of a sloppy rebuilding mode and this summer didn't figure to be a year where they would do much in free agency. While Jared Dudley was arguably their best player last year (or one of, at least), he didn't have much of a future in Phoenix; he's not a player you build around, just a nice player. They had to take on Caron Butler's salary, but he's an expiring contract, so he'll provide them with some cap relief next year, where they'll be around $20 million under the salary cap with the options to make more room.

The real kicker of the trade is getting Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe has some mixed reviews around the league, and while he's not a "true" point guard, he's a talented, small guard who can dribble the ball, pass it to people, and score it when needed. Per 36 minutes last year, Bledsoe averaged about 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2.5 steals per game -- basically Andre Iguodala stats in a 6'1" guard, people. It must say something about a player when he can check in for Chris Paul and still produce applaudable results. If he realizes his potential, he's a building block for the Suns who, as mentioned, have lots of cap space coming their way with a bunch of draft picks, courtesy of last year's Steve Nash trade.

How the Bucks... umm....:

Give it to Milwaukee: they at least got something for Redick who was a free agent and could have left for nothing. They got two second round picks and those can be useful with smart drafting or trade maneuvering. But going back to February, they traded their fairly promising first round pick, Tobias Harris, for a two-month rental of Redick and a first-round sweep at the hands of the Miami Heat.

Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings are both free agents, too, so the Bucks may be facing some Lotter-bound years, but without much to build around. Not that long-term deals for Ellis and Jennings would make many fans happy, but it's something. Say hello to a likely tanking year for Milwaukee.

What do you think of this deal? Let us know in the comments section below.

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