Possible Clippers-Celtics deal could have Magic impact

Orlando, Boston want PG Eric Bledsoe

What could prevent the Magic from taking more baby steps ... is merely the formation of the next NBA superpower. That's all.

If you believe the Internet intel, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Magic have been discussing a trade that would send promising young point guard Eric Bledsoe and veteran forward Caron Butler to Orlando for shooting guard Arron Afflalo.

Big win for the Magic in a season of very few wins.

They would acquire a talented replacement for aging Jameer Nelson and shed the three years remaining on Afflalo's contract. With Butler in the last season of his deal, that is a very salary-cap friendly transaction all around for the Magic.

Moving Afflalo likely influences Orlando to pick a shooting guard — Ben McLemore or Victor Oladipo — in the draft. The possibility of acquiring Bledsoe might remove any notion of the Magic taking Trey Burke.

There's a catch, of course.

The Boston Celtics want Bledsoe (along with center DeAndre Jordan) from the Clippers to complete either one of the most distinctive blockbuster deals in history — or to dispel one of the craziest fantasy basketball trades of all time.

As you might have heard, it involves Doc Rivers, the former Magic coach and, apparently, the former Celtics coach.

Rivers is generally managing this mega trade with the Clippers that calls for two current Celtics — Doc and Kevin Garnett — to relocate in L.A. Even at $7 million per season, Doc doesn't want to rebuild a team in Boston like, you know, they have to do in Orlando. The grandiose plan then is to have Paul Pierce join the Clips after the Celtics presumably buy him out of his contract.

The Celtics, though, are demanding that Bledsoe be included, as they should. The trade would provide the Clippers with graybeard experience and give the Celtics a much-needed makeover.

But the Clippers want to use Bledsoe in a separate deal (as long as they know starter Chris Paul is staying), either to obtain Afflalo, Indiana's Danny Granger or a player to be named later.

I don't know what's more bizarre: The haggling over a back-up point guard that has created a stalemate in the trade scenario or realizing the day has come when three Celtics mainstays are leaping at the chance to join ... the Clippers.

Stars such as Dwyane Wade and LeBron James joining forces is now an accepted practice. But a coach blatantly attempting to take the heart of his team with him to his next job site, aligning his Celtics relics in a package deal, is a new one.

Not that it will become a trend. There are few coaches like Rivers who have the cachet to be Pied Pipers. They don't last in one place long enough, for starters. And even Phil Jackson had to go to Hollywood, where the stars are.

Putting KG and Pierce on the floor with Paul and Blake Griffin would form a Big Three Emeritus. KG and Pierce turn 37 and 36, respectively, next season. But you have to give the Clippers props for wanting to keep the Lakers as the warm-up act at Staples Center.

Players are still trying to hook up, broker all-star teams and distance themselves from the working class — and most of the league is composed of the working class. Magic faithful know that better than anyone. And so, as a courtesy, brace yourself for a Dwight Howard update.

Howard and Paul — both free agents — have been in frequent contact about playing together.

There's speculation that the Clippers would offer the Lakers a sign-and-trade for Howard that could include Griffin and — you guessed it, Magic fans — Bledsoe.

But the Clippers can't afford to move Bledsoe until they re-sign Paul, no sure thing with Dwight and CP3 exchanging text messages.

It's as if The Dwightmare never ends in Orlando.

bschmitz@tribune

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