When the Clippers acquired Jared Dudley last summer, they thought they were getting the perfect piece. Tuesday when they traded him to the Milwaukee Bucks, they had to give up a first-round draft pick just to get out of his contract.
The Clippers sent Dudley to the Bucks, along with the draft pick, getting veteran Carlos Delfino, 7-footer Miroslav Raduljica and a 2015 second-round pick in return.
The first-round pick sent to the Bucks will be in 2017 and will have lottery protections.
Saddled with a nagging knee injury, Dudley averaged only 6.9 points on the worst field-goal percentage of his career. He lost his starting job midseason to Matt Barnes, and wasn’t a consistent part of the rotation in the playoffs.
“Jared is a great teammate, I thank him for all his hard work on and off the floor on our behalf,” Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers said in a release. “Jared is a true professional and we wish him all the best in Milwaukee.”
Dudley is owed $8.5 million over the next two seasons.
While the Clippers actually added a small amount of salary in acquiring Delfino and Raduljica, the team owns options on both players’ contracts next summer.
However, the Clippers are now without first-round picks in two of the next three drafts. Their 2015 first-rounder belongs to Boston as compensation for Rivers.
Delfino, a veteran small forward, is a strong shooter, but multiple foot surgeries cost him all of last season. He’s expected to miss at least part of the upcoming season.
In eight NBA seasons, Delfino, who turns 32 Friday, has averaged 8.1 points, hitting 36.5 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Raduljica, a 7-foot center from Serbia, played limited minutes in his first NBA season last year. In 48 games (two starts), Raduljica averaged 3.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.3 blocks.
The Clippers now have 13 players under contract, and because they’re operating under the hard cap, the team would need to make additional roster moves to add another player.
That move could be waiving Delfino via the stretch provision, allowing the Clippers to pay out his contract over the next three seasons, clearing about $2 million, which the team could use to add depth.
One option could be big man Ekpe Udoh, who visited with the Clippers on Tuesday. USA Today’s Sam Amick, who first reported about the possibility of using the stretch provision, also reported the team could have interest in guard Chris Douglas Roberts.
The Clippers could also waive Raduljica.
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