When Memphis acquired Eric Bledsoe in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans last month, it was understood by many insiders he would not stay with the Grizzlies. On Sunday, the the veteran guard was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Grizzlies acquired guards Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and center Daniel Oturu in exchange for Bledsoe. The deal, which the team announced Monday, sheds Bledsoe's $17.5 million salary for next season as well as his guaranteed $3.9 million for 2022-23.
He also returns to the Clippers, where he spent the first three years of his career.
With 17 guaranteed contracts, the Grizzlies will have to make more moves to get to 15, the maximum allowed on an NBA roster. It means they could consider additional trades or potentially buying out their new acquisitions.
The trade also frees up $3.9 million in cap space for the Grizzlies in 2022-23. That's the amount Bledsoe was guaranteed to make before June 29 when he is owed $19.3 million on the final year of his contract. Bledsoe will make $17.5 million next season.
Beverley, 33, averaged 7.5 points in 37 games last season and is regarded as one of the league's toughest perimeter defenders with three All-Defensive team selections. In a tweet Sunday, he was eager to join his new team and bring a familiar attitude on the court.
Grit and Grind. Let’s GO🏀🏀
— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) August 16, 2021
"Grint and Grind. Let's Go," Beverley said.
Rondo, 35, just completed his 15th season and is a two-time NBA champion but averaged just 5.4 points and 4.4 assists last season. Oturu, the 33rd pick in the 2020 draft, averaged 1.8 points in 30 games last season.
Both Beverley and Rondo are on expiring deals and will be free agents after next season. Beverley will make $14.3 million next season, and Rondo will make $7.5 million.
You can reach Evan Barnes on Twitter (@Evan_B) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Grizzlies trade Bledsoe to Clippers for Beverley, Rondo, Oturu