Eric Bledsoe does not want to play for the Phoenix Suns anymore. At least that is how the Suns are interpreting Bledsoe’s tweet from Sunday:
I Dont wanna be here— Eric Bledsoe (@EBled2) October 22, 2017
Bledsoe claims the tweet was in reference to a hair salon he was evidently at on Sunday. The Phoenix brass is not buying it, however. Bledsoe did not play in the Suns’ game on Monday, and Suns GM Ryan McDonough says that the disgruntled point guard’s days in Phoenix are likely done.
With Bledsoe McDonough’s proclamation, media members and fans alike speculated about Bledsoe’s eventual destination, and more than a few people mentioned that the Cavaliers would make sense.
The Suns are in an interesting position in regards to dealing Bledsoe. Trade requests typically do not come via Twitter. On top of that, teams typically do not straight-up say they are going to trade a frustrated player because it gives other teams in negotiations leverage. To put it simply, McDonough shot himself in the foot by publicly announcing that Bledsoe’s Suns career is all but over.
Now that teams know that Phoenix is eager to move the 27 year-old guard, they are far less to give the Suns anything of high value in a deal for Bledsoe.
So far, Suns pursuit of a young player with significant talent for Bledsoe is a hurdle to a deal. Bledsoe's trade value isn't at an apex.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 24, 2017
The Suns will more than likely have to give in on their high demands, and that would help Cleveland if it were interested in acquiring Bledsoe. The Cavaliers do not have a ton of tradable assets, but again, Phoenix does not have much bargaining power in this scenario. Any trade with the Suns would likely involve Iman Shumpert. It is no secret that Cleveland would like to move Shumpert. After all, they have been trying to deal him for over a year now.
In addition to Shump, the Cavs would likely send either Channing Frye or rookie Ante Zizic to the Suns. Frye is the odd man out of Ty Lue’s rotation, and having played for the Suns for three seasons earlier in his career, Frye is a fan favorite in Phoenix.
According to Sam Amico, Phoenix will probably ask Cleveland about Brooklyn’s draft pick it acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade, and frankly, it would be foolish not to. With that being said, there is little reason to believe that the Cavs would part with a pick as valuable as that one just for Bledsoe.
Bledsoe’s fit with Cleveland
Before even addressing how Bledsoe fits in with Cleveland on the court, there is one important note to address. Bledsoe is represented by Klutch Sports, the same agency that represents James. Maybe that matters.
Things are a bit unclear when it comes to assessing how Bledsoe fits with the Cavaliers on the court. The Cavs’ current point guard depth is shaky at best. Derrick Rose has already missed two games with an ankle injury, and it is unwise to think that Rose will not miss more time at some point this season. Isaiah Thomas is confident he will be able to return to his pre-injury form, but that is no guarantee. Jose Calderon probably should not even be on an NBA roster right now.
One area in which Bledsoe immediately improves the Cavaliers is at the defensive end. It is no secret that the Cavaliers current stable of guards is not exactly filled with defensive stalwarts, and at 6’1” and 205 pounds, Bledsoe’s size and athleticism would be help immensely against talented teams like the Warriors. Plus, he averaged at least one steal in six of his first seven season. His defensive effort has waned at times, maybe he can get back to playing with consistent effort on that end.
It is hard to not be excited about the potential of a player capable of putting up 20 points per game and six assists joining the team, but Bledsoe’s offensive skillset does not add a ton to the current incarnation of the Cavaliers. Like much of the backcourt, he is not much of a three-point shooter. He is a career 33.4 percent shooter from deep, and his career-high three-point shooting percentage (39.7 percent) came in a year when averaged just one attempt from deep. Given how hard the Cavaliers have had to work to get good three-point looks this season, adding another subpar perimeter shooter is questionable.
Additionally, Bledsoe has had his own struggles with health throughout his career, having played more than 70 games just three times in his career, and it would make a fairly crowded backcourt even more crowded. Dividing minutes among Bledsoe, Rose and Thomas would be quite the task for Lue.
Bledsoe and the Cavs are not a perfect pair, but they do make some sense together. It will be interesting to see if Cleveland gets involved in trade talks with Phoenix.