Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Clippers have traded Avery Bradley to the Grizzlies for Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green. While not the dump for assets many expected, this is still a very nice move, if a somewhat confusing one.
Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green are both quality veteran players, not the young prospects or draft assets that Clippers’ fans hoped Bradley would get moved for. Also, while Temple is somewhat more of a wing than Bradley, he’s still basically a guard who will block the Clippers’ youngsters from getting minutes. Green is a power forward, a position the Clippers needed to fill after dealing away Tobias Harris and Mike Scott. But this would seem to be the move of a team that’s trying to make the playoffs, not one that wants to miss it to keep their lottery pick this summer.
In reality, it’s possible the Clippers don’t care all that much about getting their pick this summer: they’re fine if it does happen or doesn’t. Even if they do get it, it would be a low lottery pick, as they’ve accumulated far too many wins to sink near the bottom of the lottery. Therefore, making the playoffs wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
The real reason the Clippers made this trade, though, is because of the salaries of the players involved. Temple and Green both have contracts which expire after this season, while Bradley had a partial guarantee for next season. Therefore, the Clips have cleared another $2 million off their books this summer.
Green is averaging 9.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in 22 minutes per game, while Temple is averaging 9.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 31 minutes per game. Temple, notably is a nice perimeter defensive player, and an absolutely standout locker room presence. If anything, the Clippers upgraded their rest-of-season roster significantly with this move.
Avery Bradley was averaging 8.2 points and 2.7 rebounds in 29.9 minutes per game, but was much maligned for his sometimes questionable offensive decision-making and Doc’s insistence on playing him large minutes. With Bradley gone, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jerome Robinson, and newly-acquired Landry Shamet all have a path to more minutes.