Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Aside from the Orlando Magic and the Detroit Pistons, the Toronto Raptors are also interested in acquiring point guard Eric Bledsoe from the Los Angeles Clippers.
According to sources, the talks between the Raptors and Clippers are still in the exploratory stage but Toronto’s interest in Bledsoe is said to be significant.
Sources added that the Raptors would try to include Andrea Bargnani in any deal for Bledsoe to entice the Clippers, who need a big man who can stretch the floor. Toronto guard could also use guard DeMar DeRozan to tempt the Clippers to give away Bledsoe.
Many believe that the Raptors are prepared to part with DeRozan, who recently signed a $40 million contract extension, in the wake of Rudy Gay’s arrival and the front-office change that ushered out Bryan Colangelo and ushered in Masai Ujiri.
Earlier, the Magic and the Pistons expressed interest in acquiring Bledsoe, who will turn restricted free agent in the summer of 2014.
The Magic and Clippers have been discussing the possibility of a trade with Aaron Afflalo and Bledsoe as the principles for the better part of June.
However, those talks began before the Clippers’ drawn-out hiring of Doc Rivers as their new coach and senior vice president of basketball operations.
After his hiring, Rivers has indicated he’d like to keep Bledsoe around if possible as Chris Paul’s backup.
The Clippers are operating under the assumption that Paul will sign a maximum five-year extension after they hired Rivers.
Last season, Bledsoe averaged a career-best 8.5 points in 76 games with the Clippers.