Was the trade of Eric Bledsoe a mistake for a team that needs to win a championship to justify all the hype?
It was a three-team trade that netted the Los Angeles Clippers their starting shooting guard, J.J. Redick and the since-traded Jared Dudley. The Phoenix Suns received Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler and the Milwaukee Bucks received two second-round picks.
On a surface area look, the Clippers gave away the best player on a potential aspect and received two players that filled a need (shooting guard/shooting and small forward). Unfortunately, Dudley never materialized last season and is ironically a Buck now. The jury is still out for Redick. But, while the talent is not a question, the health definitely is for the 30-year old guard that only played 35 games last season.
As for Bledsoe, he suffered a few injuries as well. But, the talent and future building block that the Suns wanted was there.
His overall statistical impact: 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists per game, 47.7 field-goal percentage, and 1.6 steals per game.
The list of players that reached the same kind of numbers:
Now, the sample size was small and Goran Dragic easily had the better season, but Bledsoe’s potential was there. The Suns definitely saw the need for his services with their 5-year, $70 million extension (despite signing Isaiah Thomas in the offseason).
In retrospect, the deal looks awful for the Clippers. Bledsoe, a budding star who’s signed through his prime years as a Sun, Redick is a strong shooting guard who’s already in his 30s, and Dudley’s not even in a Clippers’ jersey. But, it’s unfair to really critique 100 percent on that surface. The Clippers needed a small forward and had Chris Paul running the point.
But, in a revisit, the deal was as lopsided as any in the league. The possibilities for a two-way star point guard in this league are limitless. Bledsoe fits the bill for just that, but unfortunately, he’ll run his potential with the Suns instead of the Clippers.
Image: Getty images
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