Eric Bledsoe, the Phoenix 25-year old point guard who averaged 17 points and 6.1 assists per game last year while shooting 44/32/80, is supposedly on the trading block.
Three days before the draft, I’d imagine 80% of the league is being at least mentioned in trade discussions, so take this with a grain of salt: The Suns are supposedly offering the 13th pick and Bledsoe to move up to the 4th pick, where the Knicks are.
What the hell is Phil Jackson waiting for? You’re talking about a Top 15 point guard in the NBA with a solid, definitely-not-horrible contract for the next four years who is a plug-and-play talent immediately.
Does anyone think Emmanuel Mudiay – who I have the Knicks taking 4th – will play a similar level to Bledsoe for the next four years? I don’t. Mudiay just turned 19 and is bigger than Bledsoe, but he’s coming off a season in China where he only played 10 games due to injury. I know, I know – does Eric Bledsoe fit the triangle? (Scrap the bloody triangle, Phil.)
Yes, Mudiay will be on a rookie deal, but here’s the kicker – you also get the 13th pick! In that spot, you’re looking at either a big who will come off the bench immediately – Myles Turner of Texas – or a wing capable of playing major minutes in the starting lineup (Justin Anderson of Virginia) or learning for a year in the D-League and contributing in 2016-2017 (Kelly Oubre).
I look at the Knicks depth chart and I see a wasteland. A symphony of sadness.
You get Bledsoe and – for sake of argument, let’s say Justin Anderson – and you’ve got a young, exciting, defensive-minded backcourt. I think Anderson is more of a SF than SG, but he’s capable of playing both. Want to go small? Shift Melo to the 4 (which he hates!) and bring in a gunner like Tim Hardaway at SG and slide Anderson to the SF. The frontcourt is a mess, but that could potentially be solved in free agency if you want to overpay for a guy like Greg Monroe. Let’s see:
PG – Bledsoe, Calderon, Larkin
SG – Hardaway, Justin Anderson, Langston Galloway
SF – Melo, Cleanthony Early
PF – Greg Monroe, Jason Smith
C – [vomits]
It ain’t a playoff team – nope, not even in the East – but it’s at least watchable and more competitive. It probably gets you close to the dreaded middle, but there’s no 1st round pick next year (at least it appears that way), so what’s the point of tanking again?
DO IT PHIL JACKSON!