Per reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, the Phoenix Suns have traded star point guard Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for veteran forward Greg Monroe and a future first-round draft pick. We knew this was coming soon but the Bucks were a team that hadn’t been discussed as a potential team that would want to acquire Bledsoe. The teams reached an agreement late Monday night and spent early Tuesday morning finalizing all of the medical evaluations of the players involved in the trade before the league could approve it.
Bledsoe has only played in the first three games of the season for the Suns, but after becoming frustrated with management, on October 23rd Bledsoe tweeted “I Dont wanna be here” after the former head coach Earl Watson was fired. Bledsoe claims that he was at a hair salon with his wife when he tweeted that and the tweet was about that, but he also said he requested a trade earlier during the preseason that wasn’t approved by management due to them thinking the team had underperformed since giving Bledsoe more responsibilities. Ryan McDonough, the Suns GM, announced at the time that Bledsoe “won’t be with us going forward,” and said he didn’t believe Bledsoe’s explanation that he was tweeting about wanting to leave a hair salon. McDonough reiterated last month that the Suns had no timetable for a potential trade involving Bledsoe.
Bledsoe, who is only 27, averaged career highs in points per game (21.1), assists per game (6.3), and rebounds per game (4.8) last season, but the Suns finished with the worst record in the Western Conference with a record of 24-58. It was the second straight year that Phoenix finished with a winning percentage under .300. Bledsoe is a strong and quick guard who can score against anyone and can play lockdown defense. His court awareness is one of the league’s best and is a quality playmaker whether he has the ball or not.
The Bucks just added a top-quality point guard to a team that already has some quality fire power. Led by young star Giannis Antetojounmpo, who is playing at an MVP-caliber level, this team now has a court general in Bledsoe. Along with Khris Middleton, Tony Snell, Matthew Dellavedova, and John Henson, Bledsoe will play key minutes in Milwaukee’s attempts to make a run at a high seed in the playoffs. Once Jabari Parker returns from injury, head coach Jason Kidd will have another piece he can add to his rotation.
Phoenix will receive veteran forward Greg Monroe, who is in the final year of his three-year contract worth $51 million and will be a free agent after this season. Phoenix will also receive a future first-round pick that is a protected lottery pick. The Suns made this move to remove the drama that came along with Bledsoe and can have a clean slate. They will now lean on young star Devin Booker to lead the team back to the playoffs.
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