Eric Bledsoe has expressed his frustration with the Phoenix Suns and has demanded a trade. There are a few teams that are in talks with the Suns to acquire the 27-year old point guard and the Knicks are one of them. I take a look at the possible trade, why the teams do it and how it impacts them.
Phoenix Suns: Courtney Lee, Kyle O’Quinn, 2018 Bulls Second-Round Pick
New York Knicks: Eric Bledsoe
Why They Do It
The Suns are going to trade Bledsoe somewhere, whether it is the Knicks or not. Bledsoe is not happy and even took to Twitter to express his frustrations.
There is one reason why. Another is that I think the Knicks can give them one of the best packages possible. The Suns reportedly asked for Frank Ntilikina and Willy Hernangomez for Bledsoe, but that is not going to happen. The Knicks would be stupid to give up two of their future players for Bledsoe. The Knicks package of Courtney Lee and Kyle O’Quinn actually fits in Phoenix nicely. The Suns are off to a bad start and need some scoring off the bench. Lee will not start for the Suns as they have a budding superstar in Devin Booker, but Lee can slide right into the 6th man spot in the Suns’ rotation. Lee provides solid scoring with his 3-point shot, solid defense and a veteran presence that the Suns seem to desperately need. Right now, the Suns back up shooting guard is Tony Daniels. Courtney Lee would be a huge upgrade over Daniels. The Suns do have a good amount of solid front court players, but O’Quinn builds up that unit even more so. He may be an upgrade over an aging Tyson Chandler as well. O’Quinn can provide the same amount of rebounding, toughness and defense as Chandler, while spacing the floor out just a bit more. That can open up the floor for some of their younger scorers.
On top of those two players, the Suns will be getting the Bulls’ 2018 second-round draft pick. That pick is projected to be within the first five selections in the second round. It is basically a late first round pick.
New York Knicks
The Knicks have been talking about trading O’Quinn and Lee for a while now. Both of their names came up in trade rumors last season as the deadline, but they remained with the Knicks. Eric Bledsoe is a clear upgrade at point guard on their roster. The Knicks are also looking for a second scoring option behind Kristaps Porzingis. KP has been getting off to hot starts in the first two games, but the defense keys on him in the second half and forces the Knicks to look elsewhere. There has been no elsewhere so far. Tim Hardaway Jr. has looked atrocious in his first two games and he is supposed to be the second option. Bledsoe would be a great fit with the Knicks who want to push the ball up the court quickly.
Bledsoe can be a nice bridge before Frank Ntilikina is ready to takeover in two years, when Bledsoe’s contract expires. Bledsoe can also be the future point guard for the Knicks if Ntilikina does not pan out. On top of that, Bledsoe has played with Knicks’ head coach Jeff Hornacek, so the two know how to handle each other.
Kristaps Porzingis has said he wants to see the Knicks continue to build for the future before he signs a contract extension. I think this is exactly what Porzingis wants to see. Bledsoe and Porzingis will mesh greatly together. I see all the alley-oops from Bledsoe to Porzingis already. Bledsoe may love New York so much that he may eventually re-sign with the Knicks once his contract is up as well. Bledsoe and Ntilikina may eventually be able to play alongside each other as well. Ntilikina is a bigger point guard who reportedly has a very good three-point shot.
Knicks New Rotation
If the Knicks can pull off this move without giving up a first-round pick, their future is looking brighter and brighter. Bledsoe brings a veteran presence and much needing scoring help to this Knicks team. He is also a better defender than many realize. The Knicks can look to their future with Bledsoe, Ntilikina, Porzingis and Kanter with top first-round picks on the way. They also have a real shot to make the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference with the addition of Bledsoe.
Will this happen? Not sure. Can it happen? Definitely. Will the Knicks fuck this up somehow? Oh, I am sure they will.