The Phoenix Suns have long been known for their tradition of great point guard play in their franchises’ history. Names like Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash name just a few.
In Ryan McDonough’s first personnel trade, the potential of the next great point guard to be added to this prestigious list in Eric Bledsoe.
“It’s a great tradition of point guards and for me, being at that category with those point guards you couldn’t ask for anything more,” Bledsoe stated to Pros2Preps.com.
For the soon to be three-year player out of the University of Kentucky, the notion of being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers was a definite possibility. It all depended on whether or not Chris Paul was going to re-sign with them. Once he did, reports the interest in acquiring Bledsoe came from many teams all over the league. Bledsoe mentioned that Orlando was a team he knew was interested but ultimately the Suns came through with the best trade package.
“They wanted me real bad,” Bledsoe mentioned. “I knew whoever was going to trade for me was going to give me more time and play a bigger role,” Bledsoe said. “It is just what I envisioned.”
“We did this deal to add to our nucleus with Goran (Dragic),” Suns GM Ryan McDonough told Pros2Preps.com. “The way that Jeff (Hornacek) and I would like to play is to push the ball in transition, to put a lot of pressure on the defense by getting the ball up the court early and attacking.”
McDonough mentions this style of play with a two point guard lineup with Goran Dragic. Bledsoe does have experience doing so when he and guard John Wall started in the back court for John Calipari in Kentucky.
If you look at the games where he has been able to start, he has done exceptionally well
“Guards now learn how to play with each other in college,” Bledsoe explained. “Like with me, I played with John (Wall) in college. It’s kind of taking the college game and taking it to the next level a little bit.”
For Bledsoe now at a professional level, coming to the Suns will be his first opportunity to play the point guard position and be “the guy” in a lineup. While at Kentucky John Wall was the go-to ball-handler and the last two years with the Clippers, he was the back-up to Chris Paul. The Suns believe that Bledsoe has just scratched the surface of what he is capable of and will have the chance to prove himself in this new role.
“If you look at the games where he has been able to start, he has done exceptionally well,” McDonough exlpained. “His numbers were terrific and if you go back and look at the film his highlight reel and also his consistency was impressive. He can impact the game in a number of ways on both ends of the floor.”
Bledsoe himself plans to take this opportunity with the Suns and apply things he has learned from the other roles that he has played. One person in particular, Chris Paul, is someone he learned quite a bit from while in LA.
“He’s a leader,” Bledsoe explained. “We had players like Caron (Butler) or Chauncey (Billups), we had veteran players that were older than him and he led them. They were younger than him so just to see that everyday and I picked up on that and I hope to show it next year.”