After weeks of trade rumors, the Suns have finally parted ways with Eric Bledsoe in exchange for Greg Monroe and a future first round pick from the Bucks.
Here’s a look at the projected starting lineup and updated roster for the Bucks.
C-Thon Maker, John Henson
PF- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mirza Teletovic, D.J. Wilson, Jabari Parker (injured), Joel Bolomboy
SF- Khris Middleton, Rashad Vaughn
SG- Eric Bledsoe, Tony Snell, DeAndre Liggins, Jason Terry, Sterling Brown
PG- Malcolm Brogdon, Matthew Dellavedova
We are projecting Bledsoe to move into the starting lineup, taking over a spot previously filled by Tony Snell. It is a positive move for the Bucks given Monroe was not living up to his $17.8 million salary. Monroe was on an expiring contract, and the Bucks take on Bledsoe’s salary for another two seasons. According to Spotrac, Bledsoe will earn $14.5 million this season.
With the success of Thon Maker, Monroe has become expendable for Milwaukee, especially given their style of play. When Monroe was signed in 2015, big men had a much higher value in the league, and Monroe was viewed as an All-Star caliber center. Monroe’s decline has as much to do with a changing NBA, as it does with Monroe’s skill level. Teams are opting to play smaller players who can shoot at both the center and power forward positions. Monroe does not fit this description, and does his best work in the post.
At 6’1″, Bledsoe is a smaller guard that does not fit the Bucks traditional prototype of big guards. Bledsoe does have a long 6’7″ wingspan which does fit what Milwaukee typically looks for in their players. As Fantasy Labs’ Justin Phanned points out, the Bucks have a starting lineup full of players with freakish wingspans.
Bledsoe only played in three games this season for the Suns, and has not played in a game since October 21st. During the 2016-17 season, Bledsoe averaged 21.1 points, 6.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 66 games with the Suns.
Prior to the trade, the Bucks had lost three straight games and were 4-5 to start the season. Milwaukee ranks just 21st in total points per game at 103.9 points, and are hoping Bledsoe can add some offensive firepower to the team.
Bledsoe has not been a great three-point shooter as his career 33.4 percent three-point percentage indicates. What Bledsoe does offer the Bucks is position versatility with his ability to play both guard positions. This pairs nicely with Malcolm Brogdon in the backcourt as Brogdon can also play the one and two positions.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski detailed why the Suns were shopping Bledsoe.
Bledsoe has been away from the Suns (4-7) since general manager Ryan McDonough sent him home on Oct. 23. One day earlier, Bledsoe tweeted, ‘I don’t wanna be here.’
McDonough 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…
Bledsoe previously had met with Suns owner Robert Sarver and McDonough during the preseason and requested a trade, sources told ESPN. Bledsoe was told by management, according to sources, that the team had underperformed ever since he was given starting point guard responsibilities.