The Phoenix Suns and Eric Bledsoe have now officially split, according to reports that a trade has been completed between the Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks for the exiled point guard.
Bledsoe has only appeared in three games for the Suns this season before sending out a tweet saying “I don’t wanna be here” and then being sent into exile by the Suns management. The move actually looks like it helped the Suns (as well as the moving on of head coach Earl Watson) who got off to an 0-3 start to the season and are now 4-7.
The Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks will be swapping:
Bucks receive: Eric Bledsoe,
Suns receive: Greg Monroe, protected future first round draft pick and a 2018 second round draft pick.
The protections around the future first round draft pick are:
“Milwaukee’s first-round pick will convey to the Suns in 2018 if in the range of 11-16 overall, in 2019 if in the range of 4-16, in 2020 if in the range of 8-30 and in 2021 will be unprotected if it has not yet been conveyed. The Suns will receive Milwaukee’s second-round pick in 2018 if in the range of 48-60 overall.”
The Bucks have to be over the moon with this trade deal – they receive a top ten point guard (entering this season) and only have to give up a player who likely wasn’t in their future plans and a draft pick.
Bledsoe will be a good fit alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo in-so-far as not taking up the number of touches that Giannis is currently getting on the court. The Bucks need the “Greek Freak” to be the high volume user that he is at the moment because he is really their only legitimate star, surrounded by solid role players. In Bledsoe, the Bucks get a fringe All-Star player to pair alongside him and to take away some of the defensive pressures that opponents have been applying. From this point forward it isn’t hard to see Bledsoe becoming an All-Star player this season in an Eastern Conference that doesn’t have all that many clear-cut All-Star selections.
There are two players this does hurt for the Bucks – Malcolm Brogdon and Matthew Dellavedova.
Brogdon, the reigning Rookie of the Year, has been the starting point guard for the Bucks this season and Dellavedova came across from the Cleveland Cavaliers a season or two ago on a hefty contract and played serviceable minutes, albeit dwindling so far this season.
With Bledsoe now in the fold it is fair to assume that Brogdon now moves to the bench and Dellavedova will find his minutes severely limited. The latter could be looking for a new home before too long with the Bucks still owing him three years and $28.8 million on his contract.
However, the Bucks have picked up a piece that will help them here and now and take some pressure off Antetokounmpo – Bledsoe is an upgrade in decision making on Brogdon, an upgrade defensively on both Brogdon and Dellavedova (even though Delly is able to play fantastic pest defense) and an upgrade as an offensive threat to both of those players as well.
It’s expected that Bledsoe will join the team and be in the lineup as soon as Friday for the matchup against the San Antonio Spurs.
For the Suns, they have now officially entered the Devin Booker era. He will be the building block and foundation for the rebuilding Suns with Mike James as his current partner in crime.
Greg Monroe provides them with some cap that can be moved on at the end of the season and the only interesting move will be to see what they decide to do with Brandon Knight. He fell out of the rotation before he suffered a season ending injury and the Suns still owe him millions upon millions.
For now though, let’s just watch the entertainment provided by Antetokounmpo and Bledsoe running side by side down the court for the Bucks.