Eric Bledsoe’s salon nightmare is over: The Suns traded him to the Bucks on Tuesday. The deal sends Greg Monroe, a future first-round decide, and a future second-round decide to Phoenix with solely Bledsoe heading to Milwaukee.
The Suns had put Bledsoe on ice final February regardless of no identified actual damage whereas trying to enhance their NBA draft place and concentrate on growing youthful gamers. (The Suns ended up enhancing their odds of choosing No. 1 total, but fell two spots within the NBA Draft Lottery and picked No. four. The Basketball Gods didn’t reply to requests for remark.)
Phoenix started this season Zero-Three, with two 40-point losses. On the primary Sunday of the season, in sync with the firing of coach Earl Watson, Bledsoe tweeted that he didn’t wish to be right here, apparently taking a non-public offseason commerce request public. (He later hilariously claimed he was referring to a salon — not Phoenix — as right here.) As a end result, the Suns despatched Bledsoe house whereas in search of an appropriate commerce companion. This week, they discovered that companion in Milwaukee.
Here are the seven winners and 6 losers from the commerce — and actually the entire scenario.
Needless to say, as Bledsoe requested a commerce this summer time and went extra public because it grew to become clear the Suns had been circling the existential drain three video games into the season, he’s the mbadive winner right here. It’s not even Veteran’s Day and he’s discovered a brand new membership — a aggressive one coached by an all-timer level guard with a top-five expertise on the roster in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Expectations have risen for Milwaukee given Antetokounmpo’s sharp rise over the previous two years. More than a fringe playoff group, we anticipate the Bucks truly preventing the Cavaliers, Celtics, Wizards, and Raptors for a prime seed. If Bledsoe had soured on enjoying meaningless video games within the winter, it is a good salve. Every sport counts for the ascendant Bucks, beginning now. Bledsoe hasn’t performed a lot actual NBA basketball in 9 months — Phoenix benched him for tanking functions in the midst of final season — so he needs to be raring to go. Let’s see it.
The Buck most definitely to profit from Bledsoe’s presence is Antetokounmpo himself. Having one other shot creator on the ground ought to relieve some strain from Giannis, who has been drawing particular consideration from opposing defenses for greater than a 12 months now.
Bledsoe isn’t precisely a knockdown shooter, however he’s an even bigger ball-handling risk than every other Buck however Giannis, and so defensive anchors and helpers can be on watch when the brand new level guard has the ball. That ought to permit Antetokounmpo to see even higher alternatives for off-ball motion.
Bledsoe additionally provides one other good pbader to the group, which ought to badist the general badault. When engaged, he generally is a sturdy defender, which is the place Milwaukee has probably the most potential. (It’s been a nasty begin for Milwaukee’s protection, however the schedule has been fairly heavy on high-octane groups.)
Milwaukee’s idiosyncratic protection ought to profit from Bledsoe’s size at level guard, and the participant’s offensive means ought to make issues smoother on that finish as soon as he, Giannis, and the opposite gamers get snug with one another. Having extra expertise all the time helps, and as Kidd attracts questions on his means to handle a roster from outdoors the group, each bit issues.
Henson will nonetheless platoon with Thon Maker, who’s Milwaukee’s long-term reply on the place. But eradicating Greg Monroe from the equation ought to permit Henson an extended leash and even perhaps a couple of extra touches on offense.
Bledsoe isn’t only a top-50 participant — he’s a extremely thrilling participant when he’s on. He was so good for Phoenix final season earlier than they shut him down. Getting him again into the combination is a boon; including him to a group that needs to be actually thrilling is a bonus.
The future Suns’ entrance workplace
The Suns get one other first-round decide sooner or later sooner or later. Chances are that by the point it conveys — doubtless in 2020 when the Bucks are within the playoff combine — a brand new normal supervisor can be on the controls. (No offense to Ryan McDonough, however rebuilds can solely take so lengthy.) Phoenix is already on deck to obtain Miami’s 2018 and 2021 first-round picks, plus this one from Milwaukee, plus all of their very own picks. It’s a bonanza!
A Paul shopper will get what he needs. Quelle shock. Guess what? The dude’s a superb agent!
The present Suns’ entrance workplace
McDonough, to his credit score, stood as much as Bledsoe when he felt the Suns had been being bullied and disrespected and that Bledsoe was being dishonest. That’s price one thing. But on this NBA, the place gamers and brokers have the facility, how McDonough dealt with the entire scenario was anachronistic and self-defeating. (Someone sensible urged it regarded like McDonough was attempting to get fired.)
The Suns flat-out tanked final season, and the tactic alienated Bledsoe. This is the fall-out. Phoenix’s entrance workplace started in such a spot of weak spot after sending Bledsoe house in October that it was inevitable they’d get a modest return within the commerce market. That’s simply poor administration. It displays poorly on the entrance workplace as its future comes into query.
Monroe signed with Milwaukee two years in the past as a extremely prized free agent. He didn’t reside as much as that standing, sadly, and although the Bucks did turn out to be significantly better (as one presumes he predicted in making the choice to signal there) he gained’t be part of their potential ascendancy. What a bummer!
Parker hasn’t hit the courtroom but after ACL surgical procedure, however when he does his distinctive offensive items can be muted considerably by Bledsoe’s presence. More importantly, Bledsoe’s contract makes retaining Parker on the worth Parker is more likely to command far more tough.
The best-case state of affairs is perhaps for Parker to come back again a month previous to the commerce deadline and look nice, and for Milwaukee to flip him (and maybe Matthew Dellavedova) for an additional large man and a decide. But Parker won’t be again till February, and he’ll be a restricted free agent in the summertime. Few groups can have the cap area to max out Parker. It’s going to be tough, for certain.
Whether President Brogdon continues to start out or not, he’ll have a smaller function for the Bucks in Bledsoe’s presence, which is a bummer given how good a match he’s been. He’s nonetheless actually useful to the group, but it surely’s naive to suppose his function will stay as outstanding because it has been for his profession thus far.
The Nuggets actually, actually might have used Bledsoe. Alas.
The Cavaliers additionally actually, actually might have used Bledsoe. This isn’t the primary high-profile disgruntled star commerce Cleveland has missed out on since getting trounced by the Warriors within the NBA Finals. (Missing on the Paul George commerce ought to hang-out Cleveland, actually.) Bledsoe would have been an odd match as soon as Isaiah Thomas returns and also you’d like stronger capturing than he affords, however the Rich Paul connection and questions on LeBron’s plans in 2018 loom giant.
Landing Bledsoe doubtless would have value Cleveland Kevin Love, and that’s a troublesome promote whereas Tristan Thompson is injured. But narratives matter, and there’s a story rising that the Cavaliers are pbading up offers that would make them extra aggressive proper now, with LeBron nonetheless in his prime and nonetheless in northeast Ohio.