With five simple words the soon to be ex Sun and former Kentucky standout turned the NBA into a frenzy this past Sunday afternoon. “I Dont wanna be here” those words seem pretty straight forward and seems as if the Phoenix Suns and Eric Bledsoe have decided that their time together is finally done.
Bledsoe the ex-Wildcat who officially had the best season of his NBA career when he averaged a career high of 21.1 ppg, has since said the tweet was referring to him being at a hair salon and not wanting to be there. With many of us not believing that was the case, including Suns GM Ryan McDonough. Ryan McDonough sent the Phoenix Suns guard home the night of the Sacramento Kings game, and told the media Monday that it was likely that he had played his last game for the organization. So with the guard officially on the trading block, it seems that there is many possible destinations for the twenty-seven year old guard to land.
With the Denver Nuggets already having former Kentucky guard Jamal Murray and with the recent free agent signing of Paul Millsap during the offseason, it seems the Nuggets have some perfect pieces they can move around. The Suns have recently come out and claimed they are in pursuit of a “young player with significant talent” and with the Nuggets having a young point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay it seems we are half way there to having a potential trade. Now I know that you’re thinking that Eric Bledsoe for Emmanuel Mudiay seems like a lopsided trade and you wouldn’t be wrong. But with the Suns being one of the worst rebounding teams in the league right now (currently ranked 22nd in rebounds per game) and with the Nuggets recently signing power forward Paul Millsap. Look no farther than the former Morehead State forward and the NCAA all time leading rebounder Kenneth Faried. With Faried being known as an energy guy as well as a ferocious defender, he could immediately come in and help the Suns come and be a defensive force and a glass cleaner in which they so desperately need.
Now with Nuggets receiving an explosive scorer in Eric Bledsoe and the Suns receiving a young player with talent, in former top ten pick Emmanuel Mudiay. As well as the Suns picking up Kenneth Faired, a player who can easily help with the rebounding problem that has plagued their season thus far. All in all it seems to be a very fair trade, as well as a trade that seems very possible.
Alright so we all now when it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron gets what LeBron wants. Now the good news for Eric Bledsoe is that he just so happens to be friends with the former 4x MVP of the league, and he just so happens that they share the same agent in Rich Paul. The Cavaliers have made some big moves this past offseason. The biggest obviously being the Kyrie Irving trade. With Kyrie being sent to Boston, and the Celtics sending back Isaiah Thomas as well as the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick. But with Thomas still recovering from a hip injury and the Nets starting to look like a decent team. The 2018 first round pick from the Nets is starting to lose more and more value the better they get, but if GM LeBron and the Cavs can act quickly they may be able to pull a heist and steal Bledsoe from the Suns. My resolution? Trade Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, and the 2018 first round pick to the Suns for Eric Bledsoe. This works well for both parties, now for the Suns they could possibly get the young talented player they are looking for with that first round pick. Unfortunately for the Suns that young talented player may be in next years draft, but with the Suns currently rebuilding and them having the possibility of having two first round draft picks in next years loaded 2018 draft. I think its something they should seriously consider. Now for the Cavs they accomplish a lot more then you would think. First of all they finally get them a healthy point guard, with both of their current points guards (Derrick Rose and Isaiah Thomas) being injured they can get them a healthy starter. Second they get rid of that horrendous contract of Iman Shumpert and clear up some cap space. The Shumpert contract is one of the worst in the entire NBA in which they pay him $10.3 million a year to do absolutely nothing . Finally the Cavs accomplish their ultimate goal, keeping LeBron happy. Its no secret that LeBron loves playing with his friends and its no secret that Bledsoe and James have worked out multiple times this offseason and become close with one another.
This trade seems to be bit of a long shot. But if you’ve followed the NBA lately you will always know to expect the unexpected. So Eric Bledsoe for Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye. and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick? It’s more likely than you think.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers were the first team that Bledsoe ever played for after originally getting drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the 18th overall pick in the 2010 draft. Then Bledsoe was almost immediately traded to the Clippers after he was drafted by the Thunder. During Eric’s rookie season he a had a solid season and played well enough to earn him a spot on the NBA’s All-Rookie team. But when the Clippers acquired Chris Paul after Eric’s rookie season he saw less and less playing time and was eventually sent to the NBA D-League and afterwards he signed with the Suns. But now with Chris Paul getting trading to the Rockets and no longer running the point for the Clippers. We might see Bledsoe back playing in the Staples Center sooner than later. All-NBA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan hinted there could be a homecoming for Bledsoe in the near future. With a simple tweet like Eric’s that simply said “Come back home bro” the NBA rumor mill starter to chatter.
Now this trade is prolly the least likely of them all. But its never too late to count out a homecoming visit. But with current Clippers point guard Milos Teodosic injured and the Clippers currently having seven total guards on the team it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try and get rid of some guards while acquiring one who can play either the 1 or 2 position.
My proposition for the Clippers? Trade Austin Rivers, Montrezl Harrell, and Patrick Beverly for Eric Bledsoe. The only problem with this trade is having to convince Doc Rivers to trade his son. Which I can understand might be a difficult thing to do but the NBA is a business and he should be doing everything in his power to try and make his team better. For the Suns this trade helps you get better down on the boards and give Tyson Chandler another big body to work with down low. While also being able to acquire Beverly who is one of the elite defenders in the league at the point guard position.
Now of all the possible places Eric Bledsoe could land this one seems the most likely in my opinion as well as the one that just makes the most sense. With Bledsoe seeming as if he doesn’t wanna be in Phoenix anymore it gives teams like the Bucks to be in the drivers seat a little more. Milwaukee has a young talented player that the Suns want in Malcolm Brogdon. The 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year had an astounding rookie season coming off the bench and has started to show early this season he has what it really takes to be a starter in this league. But with Bucks having a MVP candidate on their hands in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and them looking to take the next step this year in the playoffs. They need an established starter like Bledsoe who can come in and make an immediate scoring impact.
With the Bucks Jabari Parker being held out until February, now would be the time to try and get some value out of him. Before he comes back and you see the severity of his injuries, and how much they impact his game. But with Jabari only being 22 and him tearing his ACL in his left knee twice it cant be a good sign. So why not take the low risk high reward for Bledsoe? Malcolm Brogdon and Jabari Parker for Bledsoe is the perfect trade, it makes sense for all parties involved and it everyone should walk away happy. Bledsoe goes somewhere that makes him happy and the Suns get the young talent with the untapped potential that they seek.
But no matter where Eric Bledsoe goes, any team would be lucky to have him. The man has consistently been getting better since he’s started in the NBA, he’s a player who has been putting up averages of 17 points and 5 assists for the past four seasons. The man can just make a difference when he steps on the court.