With the NBA draft rapidly approaching the Phoenix Suns if anything, have options.
They hold two of the top 13 picks and have their young, rising star in Devin Booker, as well as a handful of young players at different tiers in their career. There have been whispers of teams kicking the tires on point guards Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight as the Suns could select Providence point guard Kris Dunn with the fourth overall pick essentially ticketed one or possibly both out of Phoenix. Both Bledsoe and Knight missed significant time last season with injuries (81 games combined).
The Suns are the only team with two lottery picks in this year’s draft, and are one of two teams (Boston) with four picks in the top 34.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) May 18, 2016
One analyst believes general manager Ryan McDonough and the Suns’ brain trust would be making a big mistake dealing one of current tandem.
“I wouldn’t trade Eric Bledsoe,” Suns analyst and SIRIUS XM host Eddie Johnson recently told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat. “I’ve always said this: I think players come into the league too soon. For me I think Eric Bledsoe is going to get past these [injury] problems.”
He cites New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis as the poster child for players who leave college too early and enter the NBA not physically able to handle the rigors of professional basketball.
Johnson says the 26-year-old Bledsoe, who just completed his sixth NBA campaign, falls into the same category. His growth on the floor was evident in the 31 games he played last season.
“He has the most beautiful smile you’d ever want to see,” he said of Bledsoe. “But he doesn’t show it. A point guard has to show it. He started to do that last year. He started to be a leader. He started to pay attention to his teammates…to support his teammates. I think the kid is going to be unreal.”
Phoenix, who missed the playoffs for the sixth-straight season, have a laundry list of needs in hopes of making a dent in the talent-heavy Western Conference but EJ believes the Suns need to know when to hold them, particularly with a pair of their young backcourt.
“If [Bledsoe] can stay healthy he’s going to be an All-Star,” Johnson confidently said. “And Booker’s going to be one with him.”