Sacramento Kings: Could Eric Bledsoe End Up In Sactown?


It’s no secret the Sacramento Kings are looking to add another point guard to go along with Darren Collison–the large amount of recent mock drafts that have Emmanuel Mudiay going to Sacramento are a great example of this. But what if the best option at point guard wasn’t an incoming rookie but a proven NBA talent?

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Sean Deveney reported today that the Phoenix Suns were looking to move up in the draft, and are eager to deal point guard Eric Bledsoe to do it. The Suns have wanted to deal Bledsoe since acquiring Brandon Knight anyway, and wish to use his value to get themselves a better selection in the 2015 NBA Draft.

The Suns have the 13th overall pick in this years draft, which is obviously worse than the Kings’ current 6th pick but still a lottery selection. If the Kings could get the Suns to agree to a straight pick swap with Bledsoe thrown in, I think that’d be a great deal for Sacramento.

Although Kings GM Vlade Divac has been “very protective about the pick” he also said he reportedly won’t move it “unless [the Kings] can get several good pieces.” Well, I would say Eric Bledsoe and one of the best 13 or so prospects in this year’s draft qualifies as several good pieces.

Bledsoe averaged 17/6/5 (points/assists/rebounds) in a down year last season for the struggling Phoenix Suns, who had all three of their starting-quality point guards suffer through reduced minutes and being forced to play off of the ball in some of their scant playing time.


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As you can see, the season before Phoenix brought in all of those point guards Bledsoe actually scored more points in fewer minutes per game, mostly due to his noticeably higher shooting percentages from the field and beyond the arc.

I would expect to see Bledsoe have an even better season shooting than that 2013-14 campaign, due to having great offensive playmakers like Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins around him and not being forced to share minutes with anyone.

Now that doesn’t mean incumbent point guard Darren Collison would lose his spot either–George Karl has a pretty successful history of running with two point guards on offense, and I like the idea of a Bledsoe-Collison backcourt. Let Collison play off-ball and give Bledsoe the reigns, given that Collison has never been much of an assister anyway.

That scenario does include Ben McLemore being forced to come off of the bench, but that might not be the worst thing for the third-year wing. He hasn’t been able to consistently produce on either end of the floor through his first two seasons despite starting all 82 games last year, and slowing him down a bit could help his long-term development.

Plus if that trade were to happen, the Kings would still have a pretty good rookie coming in at thirteen overall. This draft is loaded with talented players, and I’m not sure the gap is that huge between thirteenth and sixth.

The one thing really holding back a potential Bledsoe plus draft pick swap deal is the salary involved. Bledsoe will make just over $14 million over the next four years of his deal, which isn’t huge considering the inevitable salary cap raise but is too much for the Kings to take on right now.

Either another trade would have to be made to help dump salary, or the Kings would be forced to throw in players to ensure the trade passes. That complicates things, but if the desire from both sides were there a deal could probably be made anyway–these things have a way of being worked out when necessary.

I’m not optimistic that the Kings and Suns will work to find a deal to ship Bledsoe to Sacramento, but it is at least on the table. The Kings might have a different trade in mind, or will simply use the pick to draft the best prospect available to them at six overall.

No matter what happens, it will surely be an exciting day for Kings fans as some sort of fresh and exciting talent will be coming to Sacramento.

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