Suns Trade Disgruntled Point Guard Eric Bledsoe to Bucks
The 2017-18 season isn’t even a month old, yet we already have our first blockbuster trade. Early Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Phoenix Suns have shipped disgruntled guard Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for center Greg Monroe and a 2018 first-round draft pick.
This ends the nearly two-week-long saga involving Bledsoe’s displeasure with the state of the Suns. On the afternoon of Sunday, October 22, Bledsoe tweeted, “I Don’t wanna be here.” There was no context for the tweet, but a few hours later it was reported that the Suns had fired head coach Earl Watson after Phoenix’s pathetic 0-3 start.
The next day, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough told the media that Bledsoe had been sent home from practice, and that the point guard would not be with the team moving forward. Bledsoe had reportedly told McDonough that the aforementioned tweet was sent from a beauty salon, but the Suns GM wasn’t buying it.
Phoenix had reportedly been exploring trade options for Bledsoe over the last few weeks, and they apparently settled on the Bucks’ package of Monroe and a future first-rounder.
Bledsoe for the Bucks
Milwaukee has gotten off to a rather unremarkable 4-5 start, but most believe that by season’s end the Bucks will be among the cream of the crop in the watered-down Eastern Conference. The addition of Bledsoe potentially solidifies the Bucks’ place as one of the three or four most talented teams in the conference.
The loss of Monroe will hurt the Bucks up front, but they have more than enough length on the roster to make up for his absence. Monroe averaged just about 16 minutes per game in a reserve role for the Bucks this season, and he has missed each of the last four games with a calf injury. Milwaukee will still use some combination of Thon Maker, John Henson, Mirza Teletovic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo to eat up the big man minutes. Jabari Parker can also slide into the power forward spot whenever he returns from his torn ACL.
Bledsoe averaged 15.7 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.3 rebounds in the three games he played with the Suns this season before essentially being placed on paid leave. He enjoyed one of his finest statistical seasons last year for the Suns, as he averaged a career-high 21.1 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds in 66 games.
In an effort to tank and get the best draft pick possible, the Suns shut Bledsoe down with about 20 games left last season. That decision certainly didn’t go a long way toward helping build a relationship between Bledsoe and Suns management, which had already been soured in the past.
Bledsoe was entering his fifth season with the Suns after playing each of his first three years with the Los Angeles Clippers. He was shipped to Phoenix back in the summer of 2013 in the three-way trade that landed J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley in L.A.
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