Four Realistic Eric Bledsoe Trades


After ESPN's Chris Haynes tweeted that point guard Eric Bledsoe was sent home prior to shootaround this morning, reports quickly surfaced that the Suns were actively trying to trade Bledsoe and that he played his last game for the Suns this past Saturday.

The news comes after the firing of Earl Watson, and Bledsoe tweeting he didn't want to be "here" anymore. 

Everyone loves to mess around on ESPN's Trade Machine, so why not piece together potential trades for Bledsoe?

Nuggets send Emmanuel Mudiay and Kenneth Faried to the Suns in exchange for Eric Bledsoe

With the Suns having a logjam at the power forward spot, Kenneth Faried isn't the ideal fit for a rebuilding team. He's 27 years old, and his lack of offense outside of the paint is why he's buried on the Nugget bench, the NBA has certainly evolved.  However, Faried has always filled the stat sheet when given minutes. The emergence of Nikola Jokic and the signing of Paul Millsap have certainly made Faried expendable. 

A change of scenery could do him wonders while adding another veteran presence for the league's youngest team could spark a culture change in the desert. The Suns are tied with the Chicago Bulls for the youngest team in The Association, with an average age of 24.5 years old. Faried is a plus-one in this potential deal.

The real prize here would be point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. Headed into his junior season in the NBA, the 21-year-old Mudiay has seen his minutes decrease in his first two seasons. Jameer Nelson, who is no longer on the team, started games over Mudiay last season. Jamal Murray, another point guard on the Nuggets roster, and Mudaiy currently look like a point-guard-by-committee for the Nuggets, with coach Michael Malone not truly committing to one young guard. Why not add Eric Bledsoe, a player who put up near All-Star numbers last season, and let Murray bolster an already deep bench? The team would create a stronger second unit and essentially shift their focus to "win now." After all, Paul Millsap is 32 years old and headed to the wrong side of 30. They should make a move now.

For the Suns, they add a point guard who fits what the fanbase calls "The Timeline." Eric Bledsoe was "too old" for the team. When the Suns eventually pull themselves out of the Western Conference doldrums, Bledsoe would be in his thirties. Mudiay adds a young point guard prospect, who is still very talented in his own right. He would be able to develop a chemistry with the Suns' young core of Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss, Tyler Ulis, Josh Jackson, and Dragan Bender. Mudiay offers a solid point guard piece the Suns can develop, as the 2018 NBA Draft lacks a surefire point guard prospect. If the Nuggets also include a future first-round pick, why not make this move?

The Suns would have to waive a player after taking an additional contract in.

Bucks ship Malcolm Brogdon, John Henson, and a future first-rounder to the Suns for Eric Bledsoe

Much like the first proposed trade for Bledsoe, this deal features yet another point guard in Malcolm Brogdon and another big man in John Henson. When the Suns eventually trade Eric Bledsoe, surely a point guard must come back as part of the package. Malcolm Brogdon, 24, won Rookie of the Year last season, after averaging 10.2 points, 4.2 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 75 games for the Milwaukee Bucks. He's not the ideal player a team would want in return for Eric Bledsoe. However, New York Times Sports' Marc Stein tweeted that the Bucks have expressed interest in Eric Bledsoe. Brogdon is a trade chip, albeit a very plain one. 

If Eric Bledsoe didn't fit "The Timeline," then John Henson, 26, surely doesn't either. Henson is in the second year of a four-year, $48 million contract. Although he's on a team-friendly front-loaded deal, his cap hit decreases every year of the deal. Are the Suns going to play Henson minutes over Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss? The obvious answer is no. Henson is merely what Faried was, cap-filler. The real value of this trade is getting what the Suns can for Bledsoe--Brogdon and any potential first-round picks sent over.

The Suns would have to waive a player after taking in an additional contract.

Clippers trade Austin Rivers, Wesley Johnson and future first-round picks to the Suns for Eric Bledsoe

The Clippers are not parting with Blake Griffin. Danilo Gallinari is also staying put in Los Angeles. The Clippers did, however, try to gauge the market for DeAndre Jordan over the summer. ESPN's Chris Haynes reported that the Clippers contacted the Suns about a potential Tyson Chandler and No. 4 pick swap for Jordan. Unless the Suns decided that three games of Josh Jackson were enough, DeAndre Jordan isn't coming to Phoenix.

All that's left to bargain with is Austin Rivers and pairing him with veteran Wesley Johnson. Rivers, 25, is still relatively young and is in the second year of a three-year, $35 million deal, with a player-option in the final year. The hope here is that Rivers somehow puts it together in his sixth NBA season. With the new CBA and how rookie scale contracts are structured, first-round picks are becoming even more valuable. This is a take what you can, pennies on the dollar move if the Suns can't find better deals for Bledsoe.

Wesely Johnson, 30, is just cap-filler here, as he's in the second year of a three-year, $18 million deal. Johnson was widely regarded for his defensive prowess. After multiple 40-point blowouts to begin the season, any veteran presence and defensive skill are highly welcomed.

The Suns would have to waive a player after taking an additional contract in.

Spurs send Dejounte Murray, Danny Green, Bryn Forbes, and a future first-round pick to the Suns for Eric Bledsoe and Derrick Jones Jr.

Dejounte Murray was voted the 2016 NBA Draft's "biggest steal" by other NBA rookies at the time. Murray, 21, also played with Marquese Chriss at the University of Washington two season ago. Although he's still "raw" Murray has been starting for the Spurs so far this season as Tony Parker rehabs from a quad injury. He's played in two games for the Spurs this season, a small sample size. Murray is averaging 12 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in 26 minutes. He is the real centerpiece of this potential trade. Murray is young and still developing, much like the rest of this Suns team. "The Timeline" folks wouldn't have anything to complain about and Murray offers the Suns a point guard prospect.

Danny Green adds a veteran presence and some defensive intensity to a team that is clearly lacking it. He also serves as cap-filler along with Bryn Forbes and Derrick Jones Jr. Forbes would most likely be waived by the Suns in this trade as they would have too many players on their roster.

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