It seems that players have more power then ever in todays NBA and following the offseason of trade demands and old faces in new places, how fitting that the trend continues in 2017/18’s regular season. With the most successful albeit cringe inducing trade request in recent memory, “ I don’t want to be here” tweets could be the true secret to NBA happiness. Heres how Bledsoe now finds himself In the best position to succeed in his career, and it only costed him a 10,000 dollar donation to NBA cares via fine.
The market for a starting point guard of Bledsoe’s Caliber was clearly weak at the time of the deal. Whether teams were staying as far away from a move as possible because of Eric’s attitude or his injury history is something only GM’s around the league could tell you. Looking up and down the crazy NBA standings right now says more teams should be looking to buy win now pieces like Bledsoe. In what appears to be a wide open eastern conference, Why did the currently in playoff position Magic, Knicks, and Sixers not Pony up the relatively tiny price tag that the Suns eventually accepted from Milwaukee, when all of these clubs could use an upgrade at point guard? I believe its because the NBA is in a state of flux, these teams that are performing well despite their youth and low expectations coming don’t believe in themselves. GM’s also may not be sold on the slow starts of the Cavs, Bucks, Raptors, and Hornets who were all advertised as locks for top 6 seeds.
If the return for Bledsoe seems strange to you, you aren’t alone but player value is hard to judge we’ll start with the facts: Eric has averaged better then 20ppg and 6apg in his last 2 seasons in Phoenix. The main knock against EB is that he has had trouble staying on the floor, only playing in 100 games since Steph Curry’s warriors made their first finals. Undersized for his position in the association today Bled uses his elite athleticism to remain one of the better 2 way players in the league. The question remains can he continue to impact both sides of the ball after his bounce and speed go away.
Phoenix receives: Greg Monroe ©, 1st round pick Mil, 2nd round Mil
Milwaukee receives: Eric Bledsoe (PG)
Monroe on the other hand has been on the trade block in Milwaukee for what seems like his whole tenure there. A mobile big man that has the tools to be better on defence than he has been in his career, Monroe plays a throwback style that has never really felt ideal for what the bucks were asking for from him. Moving to the log jammed front court in Phoenix is just one more stop for Greg that doesn’t seem like a good fit, just as Mil and Det were. I fully expect Monroe to be moved before this years trade deadline as his per 36 numbers are still on par with his career bests and he could give a contender valuable bench scoring if he can be acquired at the right price. Monroe has never been a useful rim protector in his career as he averages only .1bpg better then Bledsoe as both enter their 8th season.
Greg Monroe potential trade destinations: Miami, Utah, LAC, Charlotte
With the bucks lineup being filled with long athletic defenders from top to bottom where does the 6 foot Eric Bledsoe slide into a defence that is built to switch everything? although that is yet to be seen if Bledsoe can commit to maximum effort on the defensive end and coach Kidd can organize a scheme to keep him out of switches, the Bucks could end up being better equipped to defend guards that rely heavily on speed and shiftiness. Note: we’re likely to see Plenty of those archetypes in the eastern conference playoff race, Isaiah Thomas, Kemba Walker, John Wall. Point guard is the strongest position in the eastern conference, acquiring a player that can take some of the burden from Dellevadova hounding opposing ball handlers is a smart move by 1st year GM Horst. Having 2 competent defenders at the one to trust for all 48 minutes will be a massive asset. That likely still wont be as impactful as giving MVP candidate Antetokumpo another shot creator and playmaker to play with. Bledsoe will add spacing to a bucks offence that already ranks 10th in the league for made 3’s per game, Eric is a career 34% 3pt shooter.
It always baffles me as an NBA fan when teams trade their star talent to already loaded teams. Despite the fact that the Phoenix Suns seemingly are headed towards more lottery selections and at least another half decade of mediocrity, If I’m wearing General manager Ryan McDonough’s shoes I look to banish Bled to the shadow realm of the Chicago bulls before sending him to a contender like he requested. More proof that my pettiness as an NBA fan will likely hold me back from any future NBA front office position. (don’t even get me started on Kyrie Irving being sent to a rival from the same conference).
Eric will make his debut for Milwaukee on November 10th against the Spurs, he is expected to be slotted into the starting 5 where he will likely see time next to Malcolm Brogdon. The Bucks will begin the Bledsoe era with a record of 4–6 on a 4 game losing skid, a Kawhi-less SAS will have a hard time slowing Giannis and Eric Bledsoe is going to make game planning even tougher on coach Greg Popovich. Although a brilliant fit on paper, NBA fans will sit back and hope that the chemistry comes easily for Bledsoe and his new squad as this could make for much a much higher compete level throughout the league.