Chris Paul Says LA Clippers Can’t Afford to Keep Eric Bledsoe

Eric Bledsoe is going to demand more playing time and money next season. According to Chris Paul, the latter is something the LA Clippers likely won’t be able to provide. Per “Bled is one of the best guards in our league,’ Paul said following Sunday’s Los Angeles Clippers practice. ‘I’ve said it all season long, I’m enjoying playing with him right now because there’s no way he can be here next year because we probably won’t have enough money to pay him. He should be a starting point guard.’ Bledsoe, 23, is under contract through next season for a bargain $2.6 million. However, if the Clips max-out Paul, who will become a free agent this summer, the franchise could look to move Bledsoe, the third-year talent out of Kentucky taken 18th by Oklahoma City and traded to the Clippers for a first-round draft pick. He was a catalyst off the bench in Saturday’s 112-91 Clippers victory for a 1-0 lead in the first-round, best-of-7 series against the Memphis Grizzlies. Bledsoe came alive in the fourth quarter for 13 of his 15 points (on 7-for-7 shooting) and all of his four assists and six rebounds as he played the entire period and Paul watched on the bench for all but 3:12 of the fourth. […] Bledsoe, as expected, said he’s not focused on his future beyond this postseason. Still, finding ample minutes for a remarkable backcourt arsenal that includes Paul, Bledsoe and veterans Chauncey Billups and sixth man Jamal Crawford is not easy. […] According to Paul, Bledsoe should be getting more next season when he’s wearing a different uniform. And that could very well suggest that Paul plans to stay in a Clippers uniform.”