At this point, the Phoenix Suns have not changed their stance when it comes to including Josh Jackson in a trade for Kyrie Irving. With the market around Irving relatively quiet and his unwillingness to commit beyond his existing contract, it appears as though teams are hesitant to offer up full value for the Cavs point guard.
Despite not being willing to include Jackson in a deal, the Suns are still trying to make a deal happen for Irving. According to a report from Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 in Minnesota, the Suns are willing to part with Eric Bledsoe, Dragan Bender and a first round pick for Irving.
How you feel about this offer ultimately comes down to how you view Bender. Bender was drafted fourth overall in the 2016 NBA draft and was considered a high IQ prospect that can develop into a versatile defender.
His offensive abilities and physical frame limit him to a more finesse style game and he settled for jump shots fairly often as a rookie. While his decision making and quick release appear like that of a shooter, he shot just 35.4 percent from the floor and 27.7 percent from three last season. While his raw numbers scream bust, it’s not irrational to believe he can turn things around.
The problem is that Bender not only is not ready to contribute immediately, but he doesn’t fill a position of need. While Jackson or any other young wing is unlikely to be a positive contributor immediately, they at least play at a position where the team could use young legs. Bender is not a more effective stretch option than Kevin Love or Channing Frye and is at best a project.
Overall, this offer just doesn’t seem like a worthwhile gamble for the Cavs. The downgrade from Irving to Bledsoe is not worth a shaky prospect and a draft pick. If this is the best offer that’s available, the team may be better off just running back Irving for another year and hoping the team doesn’t fall apart. They aren’t exactly strangers to stars not liking one another and drama behind the scenes.