On Tuesday, Yahoo Sports reported that the Suns are a part of a three-team deal that will send Jared Dudley to the Los Angeles Clippers, Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to the Suns and two second round picks are sent to the Milwaukee Bucks who also sent guard J.J. Redick to the Clippers as part of a sign-and-trade.
Deal was conceived, completed within 24 hours, source tells Y! Bledsoe didn’t become available until Chris Paul agreed to extension Monday.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2013
The key piece in this deal for the Suns is definitely Eric Bledsoe. He has spent the last two seasons as Chris Paul’s back-up and in both seasons, spent some time as a starter when Paul missed time because of injury. He played in 76 games in 2012-13 averaging just over eight points and a little over three assists per game. Bledsoe had been a part of many trade rumors this off-season involving many different teams. The Suns goal has been to develop a good young core and now Bledsoe becomes a key piece along with Goran Dragic in the Suns backcourt.
“Most teams, us included, believe you need a secondary ball handler because defenses for most teams will trap the point guard or whoever the primary ball-handler is,” explained Ryan McDonough last month during pre-draft workouts when asked if the league is trending toward two point guard lineups. “When he gives it up, you need someone who can catch it and make a play or else your offense stalls out. I do see that trend continuing. You’ve seen Golden State do it, you’ve seen Denver do it some and other teams around the league feel they need multiple guys who can shoot, run pick-and-rolls and make decisions.”
In the process, the Suns part with a fan favorite and player that has blossomed in front of everyone’s eyes in Phoenix, Jared Dudley. He spent five seasons in Phoenix after being an add on piece of the deal that brought Jason Richardson to Phoenix during the 2008-09 season. Little did everyone in Phoenix know that Dudley would be a key part of the roster for years to come. He averaged about double-digit points per game and shot over 40% from three point range in the last four seasons.
Dudley and also Redick now become much needed outside shooters in a Clippers lineup now being coached by Doc Rivers.
Meanwhile for the Suns, the youth movement continues as they add a 23 year-old Bledsoe less than a week after drafting 20 year-old Alex Len and 19 year-old Archie Goodwin in the first round of the draft. Bledsoe will not be allowed to officially sign an extension with the Suns until July 10th.