Clippers

Looking back: the Eric Bledsoe trade

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:

LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, and James Harden.

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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Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a sports and video game journalist born and raised in Southern California. He is great at finding the important detail in the mundane and ordinary. He has published articles for Riot Games, IGN.com, 1UP.com, Rotowire.com, and SBNation.
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