I Dont wanna be here
— Eric Bledsoe (@EBled2) October 22, 2017
This soon sent the NBA world into a tizzy as Phoenix tried to deal with the fallout of their disgruntled star guard wanting out of town. Like Bobby Hill once said, Phoenix is a monument to man’s arrogance, at least the current Suns’ front office is as the team has failed to surround Bledsoe with talent to help the team to reach the playoffs. They first tried a three-headed dragon of Bledsoe, Isaiah Thomas, and Goran Dragic and that did not work so they shipped Thomas off to the Boston Celtics and eventually Dragic to the Miami Heat. They then tried to go after LaMarcus Aldridge by trying to entice him with a Big-Three of Bledsoe, Aldridge, and then newly-signed center Tyson Chandler; they, of course, struck out on that possibility as well since Aldridge ended up signing with the San Antonio Spurs. After that, the team decided to blow it all up and start building towards the future and have young studs like Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss, and Josh Jackson.
After years of losing, the Suns again started off the season scraping the bottom of the barrel by losing by a large margin, including recently to the Portland Trailblazers with a final score of 124-76. Only three games into the season the Suns parted ways with head coach Earl Watson soon after Bledsoe set the NBA world on fire with his tweet. The following day, Bledsoe was sent home from practice and will not be a part of Phoenix’s rotation going forward, ultimately ending his tenure as a member of the Suns.
With the team looking to move Bledsoe as quickly as possible, the Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, and the New York Knicks have emerged as early suitors to acquire Bledsoe. But, a possible surprise team that could enter the fray are the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs could really use Bledsoe’s service with the team’s point guard rotation currently in flux with Isaiah Thomas sidelined with a hip injury and Derrick Rose is now out for the foreseeable future with a sprained ankle.
They could offer a combination of players and picks, even the highly coveted 2018 Brooklyn Nets first-round draft pick, and the most likely scenario will include a combination Cavaliers swingman Iman Shumpert, rookie Cedi Osman, rookie center Ante Zizic, and stretch forward Channing Frye. Phoenix has lost a ton of leverage with Bledsoe and will look to try and acquire young talent to help build towards the future. They can get that with Osman, a raw prospect that shows a ton of potential and can grow alongside players like Booker and Jackson and they also get two veterans in Shumpert and Frye that can join Tyson Chandler in mentoring the young Suns team.
For Cleveland, they can get even more insurance at the point guard spot in the event that Thomas takes longer than expected in his recovery and Derrick Rose can return back to his original plan of being Cleveland’s first point guard off of the bench. The other point guard on the Cavs roster, Jose Calderon, hasn’t proven viable even in limited minutes with Cleveland and it was encapsulated in their blowout loss to the Orlando Magic as Calderon was quickly pulled for Iman Shumpert. They also land yet another Rich Paul client, joining LeBron James, Tristan Thompson, and JR Smith and that can certainly help the team’s chance of retaining James’ services beyond the 2017-18 season. The team will also be able to shed the bloated contracts of Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye all while still not losing key parts of their depth or the extremely valuable Brooklyn draft pick.
For Bledsoe, he can finally get a fresh start after having his patience worn away and after five long years, things seemed to reach critical mass when Bledsoe made this play against the Portland Trailblazers:
He can now get a fresh start with Cleveland and enter the conversation of one of the best point guards in the Eastern Conference, easily passing up players like Kyle Lowry and even fellow teammate Isaiah Thomas. Considered by many NBA fans as a “Mini LeBron” he can finally showcase it playing directly alongside James and can show why he was considered a shining star before losing some glimmer in his days with the Suns. In his best season of his career last season he averaged 21.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists on a terrible Suns team. With Cleveland, he would be able to easily replicate those numbers and would be just another major asset for a team that would be over the top with talent to win their second title in three seasons.
In the end, the Phoenix Suns will be looking to make the best possible return for disgruntled guard Eric Bledsoe. Over the summer they had a chance to land Kyrie Irving by sending Bledsoe along with Josh Jackson or even Dragan Bender. With their failure of a head coach Earl Watson out and the team still being poorly run into the desert sand, it makes perfect sense why Bledsoe wants out of the Valley of the Sun. After losing most bargaining power and not being the best general manager, Suns GM Ryan McDonough could look again to try and reach a deal with Cleveland to try and gain back something to continue to build towards the future.