As the sporting world waits for Dwightmare 2013 to come to an end, the rest of the league remains quite active. Three teams sought to improve their rosters Tuesday, conducting a trade that saw one of the NBA’s most coveted young assets – Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe – moving to Phoenix, along with Caron Butler. Los Angeles will get Jared Dudley from Phoenix, as well as Milwaukee’s J.J. Redick. The Bucks will receive second-round picks from both teams for the trouble.
One can’t really gage this trade until we see what Bledsoe can do when given the ability to run his own team. Which is why it’s a bit cruel that, of all the teams lining up for Bledsoe’s services, the Suns were the one to land him. From their perspective, they got their hands on a 23-year-old dripping with offensive and defensive potential (and an aging Caron Butler) for the price of Jared Dudley and a second-rounder. If you’re Phoenix, you do that 10 times out of 10.
But it’s hard to imagine Bledsoe reaching his full potential with a roster that already includes the still young (27) and improving Goran Dragic (14.7 PPG, 7.4 APG with a 17.52 PER) and last year’s first-round pick Kendall Marshall (who showed flashes of play-making ability, with three double-digit assists game off the bench within the last month of the season).
As it stands, Phoenix plans on starting the 6’1” Bledsoe next to Dragic in the backcourt. Time will tell, but this move seems to be more about stockpiling assets than improving Phoenix’s overall team.
Meanwhile, the Clippers’ incredible offseason continues. Bringing in a great head coach and re-signing Chris Paul in a calm, carefree manner were the first dominoes to fall. Now, they would appear to have upgraded two-fifths of their starting five with a single trade; the sharpshooting JJ and defensive-minded Dudley should start immediately. If Blake Griffin can just learn some semblance of a post game in the offseason, look for Lob City to
draw bandwagon jumpers from Laker Land make the City of Angels proud.
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