Right or wrong, Eric Bledsoe was the main scapegoat for three years for the Milwaukee Bucks’ postseason missions that stemmed from their first-round loss to the Boston Celtics in 2018 is most important to him as a starting point when considering his miserable playoff shows taken into account.
This examination led to it The athlete Shams Charania reports, “Rival executives expect the Bucks to prioritize acquiring a playmaker and more shots in the off-season in order to retool the squad to include Antetokounmpo. The guardian of the Bucks, Eric Bledsoe has been under contract for several seasons and had another stellar season taking All-Defensive Team Honors, but is expected to become a potential trade candidate. ”
However, like an onion splitting into many layers, trading Bledsoe will prove to be more difficult than it appears on the surface.
When he’s at his best (which is often October through April), he’s one of the top 15 point guards in the NBA. He has been an important part of Milwaukee’s best defense for the past two seasons, and without him they would not have come close to achieving success. He is excellent at navigating over and through ball screens, one of the most common actions in the NBA today. This ball pressure is a key component in Mike Budenholzer’s defense system.
At the other end of the square, he’s one of the few three bucks who can consistently get his own shot and only one of two who can regularly get to the edge. This shot creation is incredibly important to an offense that loves to spread all five guys out on the perimeter to make maximum room for their ball handlers.
If the bucks get this version, there won’t be many better point guards in the NBA. This shortlist includes Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker and a few other people who are arguably on par with Bledsoe (Russell Westbrook, Trae Young, Ja Morant, Jamaal Murray, De’Aaron Fox, D’Angelo Russell and Jrue Holiday). For those of you who keep track of things at home, that makes Bled one of the top 10-17 points in the league.
Of the guys who are clearly better than or on the same level as Bledsoe, only two appear to be available this off-season – Chris Paul and Jrue Holiday. It would cost the dollars a fortune to trade for either player, including future draft picks and / or Donte DiVincenzo – the only young player with decent potential on Milwaukee’s roster. Is that a price you are willing to pay?
It’s not as if Bledsoe has much of its own commercial value at this point. Its annual disappearance into the playoffs makes everyone question its worth when the games matter most. Most worrying is his outside shot. Initially, he’s a sub-par shooter who has knocked down just 34 percent of his threesomes with the Bucks in more than two seasons, but falls completely apart in the playoffs, making only 25.4 percent in 31 games. This allows the defense to completely ignore him and use his defender to block the lanes.
Worse, his lack of a consistent three-point shot carries over to other aspects of his game when it comes to mentally affecting him. Bledsoe invades his own mind and the rest of his game suffers.
It’s impossible to ignore these postseason battles when evaluating his overall game, which means we need to add more players to the list of point guards who could be better than him, or at least be on the same level when the games matter most . For the sake of reasoning, we will now add Fred VanVleet, Spencer Dinwiddie, Goran Dragic and Mike Conley, with the possibility that other players who are usually not even in the same set as Bledsoe (like DJ Augustin or Derrick Rose) are now in To be considered good.
There are more realistic candidates in this second group of players. VanVleet, Dragic, and Augustin are all free agents, although the first two are certainly outside of Bucks’ price range. Dinwiddie is an unlikely trade candidate, but it wouldn’t be difficult to convince the Detroit Pistons to part with Rose. All of these options would lower the Milwaukee regular season cap, but potentially provide solutions to the post-season problems. However, trying to win the NBA championship with Rose or Augustin as the starting point guardian is a dangerous task.
Milwaukee general manager Jon Horst may be forced to think outside the box and consider non-traditional point guard options when it comes to replacing Bledsoe or taking the risk of trading him off for change. It may be trendy to ask the bucks to get rid of Bledsoe, but the truth is that it’s a lot harder. Finding a willing dance partner is a big job in itself, and then you add the goats’ motivation to improve with all the moves and it gets monumental.
Whichever decision they make (and a move is undoubtedly imminent), the Bucks will likely turn into a worse 82-game team with hopes of raising their 16-game cap.
Whatever the solution, the Bledsoe transition is layered like an onion. Milwaukee’s only goal is not straight To get rid of their starting point guard, they still have to improve their championship probability. They can’t justify getting rid of their third / fourth best player and getting pennies on the dollar for it. If the bucks are to act Bledsoe AND get better, like this onion, they have to peel back the layers.
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