Eric Bledsoe on the Move? Gauging Potential Landing Spots

Early season Sunday’s in the NBA are generally quiet, but this past Sunday Phoenix Suns Point Guard Eric Bledsoe sent out a cryptic tweet that took the basketball world by storm. The Phoenix Suns are off to a bad start, currently standing at 1-3 (the lone win coming without Bledsoe), and Sunday afternoon it appeared that things are only bound to get worse. Bledsoe tweeted the following; “I don’t wanna be here,” five words that no team wants to hear a veteran utter publicly. Bledsoe met with Suns interim coach Jay Triano on Monday AM, and as result was asked to go home. He will unlikely to suit up for the Suns ever again.

Bledsoe claims that he was at a hair salon with his girlfriend, and tweeted it out then, but all signs point to that being an excuse to cover for his tweet. With the Suns actively engaged in trade talks with several teams per Adrian Wojnarowski, it is apparent Bledsoe is soon to find a new home. Lets take a look at some potential landing spots for Bledsoe.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets have been rumored to be one of the teams involved in trade talks for Bledsoe. The Nuggets who fell just short of being a playoff team a season ago, are shopping 3rd year point guard Emmanuel Mudiay and veteran forward Kenneth Faried. Bledsoe would be an upgrade over Mudiay and would add to an emerging, young backcourt of Gary Harris and Jamaal Murray. Faried would provide a steadying veteran presence for a young team and Mudiay could benefit from a change of scenery. The deal would not do anything to alter the Western Conference race, but would provide a fairly even deal for both teams.

New York Knicks

The Suns were aggressively shopping Bledsoe to the New York Knicks in attempt to clean house and go with a full youth movement. Rumors had the Suns offering Bledsoe for rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina and Willy Hernangomez, but it appears as of Tuesday night the Knicks do not want to part ways with Ntilikina/Hernangomez. Kyle O’Quinn’s name was also thrown around, but it looks like the Knicks are quickly falling out of favor in the Eric Bledsoe arms race.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough has his hands full with this current Bledsoe situation

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks are off to a hot start and Giannis looks like the extremely early MVP favorite, but they will need more offensive firepower if they are going to become a threat to go deep into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Bledsoe would give the Bucks another lethal offensive weapon and allow someone to take some of the ball-handling burden out of Antetoknumpo’s hands. The Bucks have a nice young nucleus with Giannis/Brogdon/Maker/Middleton and would likely have to part for with one or two of those pieces to make a deal happen. Last years Rookie of the Year has been mentioned as a potential piece in the deal. Milwaukee is potentially a major player in the Bledsoe sweepstakes over the next few days/weeks and is a situation that makes a ton of sense for Bledsoe.

Los Angeles Clippers

Bledsoe returning to the organization he began his career with? Deandre Jordan responded on Twitter thinking that it would be a good move for both parties. The Clippers need more scoring out of their backcourt and Bledsoe is someone who can provide an instant impact in that regard. While a lineup of Beverly/Bledsoe/Gallinari/Griffin/Jordan is not a threat to win a ring, that is a lineup that will potentially give some Western Conference team in the playoffs fits. I would argue that the Clippers make the most sense for a landing spot for Bledsoe.

Portland Trailblazers

Portland has one of the best backcourts in the league with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and would likely have to split with one (McCollum) to land Bledsoe. Bledsoe could pair well with McCollum, but it would be an interesting scenario to see how a coach would handle the usage split between Bledsoe and Lillard. While I do not think Bledsoe is enough to greatly improve the Blazers, McCollum/Booker/Jackson would be a very interesting trio to follow over the next 6-8 years. McCollum might be the best talent the Suns could get in return, but I think the Blazers will try and make a move elsewhere during the season.

I expect a couple of other teams to become involved in the Bledsoe sweepstakes over the coming days, but we should see a move made within the next week. Bledsoe and the Suns are definitely parting ways and the longer it takes to make a move, the more toxic the situation will become. The issue the Suns may run into is leverage. Teams know how bad the situation is and they are less likely to return a package of Phoenix’s liking. With a young, impressionable locker room, making a smart, good move as quickly as possible is going to be in the Suns best interest. Booker and Jackson are the Suns future, but adding a veteran presence or another young piece could help solidify a foundation for the future.

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