Eric Bledsoe @EBled2
I Dont wanna be here2017-10-22 20:44:21
There was no mention of the Suns organization, but that didn't stop everyone from jumping to that conclusion.
And it didn't help matters that the tweet came just hours before Phoenix fired its head coach Earl Watson.
For his part, Bledsoe said he was at the hair salon with his wife and wanted to leave, but that explanation didn't fly with the team's general manager Ryan McDonough, per ABC15 Sports.
"I gave him a call last night and asked him about that tweet just to clarify what he meant by it. He said he was at a hair salon. It wasn't about the Suns or anything related to the Suns. He said he was at a hair salon with his girl and he didn't want to be there anymore. I don't believe that to be true. We thought about it, talked about it with [Suns owner Robert Sarver] and my staff, and Coach [Jay] Triano and his staff, and decided it's what's best for the organization, so he won't be with us going forward."
And there you have it. Bledsoe's tweet is forcing a trade outside of trade season.
The problem with that is the Suns are breaking the cardinal rule of trades: Never lose your leverage.
With McDonough's statement that he "won't be with us going forward," Phoenix is at the mercy of any other interested teams and their low-level deals and subpar trade packages.
That being said, the damage is already done and Bledsoe is on the move, one way or another.
Suns Have Eyes For Knicks Young Core
Realistic trade partners aren't as plentiful as Phoenix would like.
That means that three, maybe four teams have a shot at landing Bledsoe.
According to ESPN's Ian Begley's sources, the Suns have inquired about the Knicks' No. 8 overall pick from this year's draft Frank Ntilikina and Willy Hernangomez, but New York is hesitant about trading either player.
Ian Begley @IanBegley
Knicks, to this point, have been opposed to dealing Ntilikina or Hernangomez for Bledsoe, per sources: https://t.co/HbdaBUjv5v2017-10-23 20:06:17
New York plans to build around rookie Ntilikina and Hernangomez, despite early injuries and lack of playing time, respectively, so any package with either of those young players won't work.
Right now, they are looking to move Kyle O'Quinn and a salary filler, a deal Phoenix isn't in a hurry to make.
Denver To Move On From Mudiay?
It looks like the Emmanuel Mudiay experiment has an expiration date.
The Denver Nuggets are looking to move Mudiay for Bledsoe and have discussed packages with the Suns including additional pieces, perhaps even an unprotected first-round pick, league sources told Basketball Insiders.
Michael Scotto @MikeAScotto
Suns and Nuggets have discussed a trade of Eric Bledsoe for Emmanuel Mudiay and other pieces, league sources told @BBallInsiders.2017-10-23 18:28:48
Outside of Mudiay, the Nuggets have also dangled forward Kenneth Faried as part of a trade package, per Basketball Insiders.
Faried, 27, has been involved in potential trade talks for some time, with Denver seeking to unload his salary. This season, Faried is owed $12.9 million and $13.7 next year.
Mudiay is on the books for $3.4 million this season and $4.3 million next season. He'll become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2019 if he's given a qualifying offer.
Bledsoe is owed $14.5 million this year and could become a unrestricted free agent after making $15 million next year.
Bucks On The Hunt For An Upgrade?
Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
The Bucks are a team that has expressed interest in trading for Eric Bledsoe, according to league sources2017-10-23 18:10:33
For a team that starts Matthew Dellavedova at point guard, Bledsoe would be a huge upgrade. Dellavedova, known for his scrappy play, doesn't pair well with Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Aussie is averaging 6.7 points and 3.3 assists per game in 22 minutes.
Bledsoe is averaging 15.7 points and three assists per game so far this season. But what makes him a dangerous get for the Bucks is his ability to score out of the pick-and-roll.
Imagine him and Antetokounmpo running that play to perfection.
But what would they have to give up to get him?
Greg Monroe and John Henson have been on the trading block previously, but they won't be enough. Milwaukee will likely have to throw in another piece like Thon Maker, who has tremendous upside.