Featured Photo Credit // Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks have agreed in principle to a trade. In the proposed trade, the Suns will send guard Eric Bledsoe to the Bucks for big man Greg Monroe, a first round pick and second round pick, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported late Tuesday morning.
The Suns started the season 0-3, including two losses by more than 40 points. This played a role in former coach Earl Watson’s firing after the third consecutive loss.
A little over two weeks ago, Bledsoe posted this tweet:
I Dont wanna be here
— Eric Bledsoe (@EBled2) October 22, 2017
Many interpreted the tweet as Bledsoe’s way of professing his desire to get traded from the Suns. Bledsoe was subsequently sent home and hadn’t played for the Suns since.
Bledsoe has developed into one of the better guards in the league since his 2013 offseason trade to the Suns. In his previous four seasons in Phoenix as a starter, Bledsoe has averaged 19.1 points and 6 assists per game.
Eric Bledsoe is one of just NINE players that have averaged at least 20 points and 6 assists dating back to the start of the 2015-16 season. pic.twitter.com/BEZyETYPph
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 7, 2017
Despite struggling to the tune of 15.7 points and 3 assists on 40 percent shooting during the Suns’ first three games of the 2017-18 season, the Bucks should feel good about Bledsoe’s ability to help the team.
The trade was made with one thing in mind for the Bucks — to improve the team in the immediate future.
After a 4-2 start to the season, the Bucks have dropped four straight games to drop them out of the playoff picture in the early part of this young season.
When looking at the top four teams of the Eastern Conference from last season, each one had a PG who is a multiple-time All-Star. The Celtics had Isaiah Thomas; the Cavaliers had Kyrie Irving; the Raptors had Kyle Lowry; the Wizards had John Wall.
While Bledsoe arguably isn’t quite at their level, his numbers have been comparable to theirs, as well as other Eastern Conference PGs, such as Kemba Walker, Reggie Jackson and Goran Dragic.
The Bucks’ current starting PG, sophomore Malcolm Brogdon (16.2 points, 4.9 assists on 50.5 percent shooting), is having a solid start to the season. However, Bledsoe gives them a veteran upgrade at arguably the most important position in today’s NBA.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s scorching hot start to the season, leading the league with 31.9 points per game on 60.1 percent shooting, Bledsoe gives him a solid running mate who can create plays for himself and others.
Bledsoe also will make the game so much easier for guys like Khris Middleton, Tony Snell, Thon Maker, John Henson, and potentially Jabari Parker, when he returns from his ACL injury. He can be the piece to help the Bucks rise in the East standings.
The Suns didn’t acquire the young player they were reportedly looking for, however, did good in acquiring a couple draft picks.
Greg Monroe, who is working his way back from injury, creates a bigger logjam for the Suns. The team already has Tyson Chandler, Alex Len, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender. As a result, the Suns’ plans to trade or buyout his contract is probably best for both parties. Monroe is a quality big man that could help out many teams off the bench.
It will be interesting to see how this trade looks a couple years down the line.