The Los Angeles Clippers are bringing back Eric Bledsoe as they reload for another run at a championship.
As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Clippers are acquiring Bledsoe from the Memphis Grizzlies. Veteran guards Patrick Beverley and Rajon Rondo are among those going to Memphis. Wojnarowski added that Beverley and Rondo are not necessarily certain to remain with the Grizzlies.
The Clippers clearly wanted more reliable guard depth than they were getting with Rondo and Beverley, two defense-first veterans. Beverley in particular was limited to 37 games last season due to injuries.
Bledsoe started 70 games for the New Orleans Pelicans last season, averaging 12.2 points and 3.8 assists per game. The 31-year-old was sometimes criticized for his performances, but the Clippers clearly see something in him as a complementary piece.
Eric Bledsoe has had a tough first season with the New Orleans Pelicans, and Josh Hart is tired of the criticism his teammate has faced amid the struggles.
Bledsoe has seen his role increase as of late, but he is still averaging just 11.4 points, 3.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. After the 31-year-old scored 13 points in a 115-109 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday night, Hart told the media that Bledsoe’s critics can “shut the f— up, because we believe in him,” according to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez.
Hart then retweeted his own quote on Tuesday and wrote “That’s my guy” with two heart emojis.
Bledsoe came to New Orleans as part of a deal that sent Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks. He was on the trade block prior to the deadline, but the Pelicans were unable to move him. That mostly has to do with the fact that Bledsoe is signed through the 2022-23 season and owed more than $40 million.
The Pelicans are 21-25, but they remain in the playoff hunt. They decided not to trade Lonzo Ball at the deadline, and Ball seems like he is optimistic about what the team is building. Hart’s animated defense of Bledsoe is a sign that Stan Van Gundy has quickly created a solid locker room foundation in New Orleans.
Eric Bledsoe’s time with the New Orleans Pelicans may end up being brief.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN said on “The Hoop Collective” this week that the Pelicans have shopped Bledsoe. Windhorst also confirmed earlier reports that the team is doing the same with Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick.
The interest in Ball has primarily been coming from within the West. Redick though is mainly drawing interest from the East.
Meanwhile, Bledsoe, a multi-time All-Defensive selection, was just acquired by New Orleans over the summer in the Jrue Holiday trade with Milwaukee. But he has struggled to start his Pelicans career. Bledsoe is averaging 13.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game this season. Those are the worst numbers that the 31-year-old has ever posted as a full-time starter.
Second-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker has carved out a consistent role for himself in New Orleans’ rotation this season. Rookie Kira Lewis Jr. is also knocking on the door of increased playing time. That is probably why the Pelicans sound determined to unclutter their backcourt a bit via trade.
Jrue Holiday is headed to Milwaukee.
Holiday has been traded to the Bucks for Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, three first-round draft picks, and two pick swaps, according to Shams Charania.
The New Orleans Pelicans began shopping Holiday in trade talks within the last few weeks and received interest from multiple teams. A report said the team wanted to send him to the Eastern Conference if they dealt him, and they have.
Holiday is one of the better two-way guards in the league. The 30-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game for the Pelicans last season. Milwaukee could use an upgrade over Bledsoe, whose hot-and-cold shooting has made it difficult for them in the postseason. Bledsoe shot 34.4 percent on threes last season but is just a 25.4 percent shooter on threes during his postseason career.
The Bucks are paying a hefty price to upgrade the guard position, but they feel it is necessary in an effort to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo with the team.
Photo: TonyTheTiger/Wikimedia via cc-by-sa 3.0
Eric Bledsoe’s time with the Milwaukee Bucks could be drawing to a close this offseason.
Veteran basketball writer Chris Sheridan reported this week that it is “an open secret” that the Bucks will try to trade Bledsoe. Sheridan does note though that no trade discussions are currently taking place.
Shams Charania of The Athletic also reported last month that Bledsoe was expected to become a trade candidate.
The 30-year-old Bledsoe has three years and $54.4 million remaining on his contract. He remains a solid two-way guard but often draws criticism for his underwhelming play in the postseason. Bledsoe’s numbers also stagnated a bit this season despite the departure of Malcolm Brogdon. By the end of the year, Bledsoe was losing some minutes to George Hill and Pat Connaughton.
Milwaukee should still be able to command a decent return for Bledsoe. He made his second straight All-Defensive Team this season (though that came with a bit of controversy). After the Bucks’ disappointing second-round exit, a shake-up of some sort certainly seems likely.
Eric Bledsoe was having a rough game for the Milwaukee Bucks against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, and Reggie Miller let him hear it.
Bledsoe was 1-for-9 shooting through three quarters of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series between the teams. He had missed all three 3-pointers he attempted.
After Bledsoe missed a couple of shots in a row in the third quarter, Miller offered some criticism. The TNT analyst joked that Bledsoe was having a “limousine” game. The joke is that the opposing team sends a limo to pick up the player to make sure he’s in the game because his play is so bad. Baseball teams would say that about a player who strikes out a lot and is hitting below .200.
By the fourth quarter, Bledsoe wasn’t taking shots, which allowed Miami to leave him unguarded from deep. They were able to double-team other players instead.
Bledsoe shot 2-for-9 in Game 3 of the series, but other than that, he had been shooting fine. He was a 44.3 percent shooter in Milwaukee’s first-round playoff series win over Orlando. Sometimes you just start struggling and it turns into something worse, which appears to be the case with Bledsoe in Game 5.
We know who the star players are on the 22 NBA teams that will participate in the resumed 2019-20 season in Orlando. There are others players who deserve attention, though. Every contender has an X-factor or an unheralded player who will have a big say in how well his team does in the playoffs.
Here are five unheralded NBA players who will play a key role in the conclusion of the season.
The NBA is set to return to action at the end of July, and numerous questions pertaining to the logistics of the league’s plan remain. While we are learning the answers to those questions gradually, NBA teams must now question how they will perform when the season does return.
With playoff basketball on the horizon, here are the most critical questions surrounding the championship contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Eric Bledsoe forgot the rules of basketball for a minute on one boneheaded play during his Milwaukee Bucks’ 129-124 win over the LA Clippers on Wednesday night.
Bledsoe was inbounding the ball in the fourth quarter of the game and forgot that he actually had to pass it. Instead, he just began dribbling.
Our guess is that Bledsoe wanted to test the refs to make sure they were paying attention. And they were.
Despite the embarrassing play, Bledsoe scored 20 points on 8/14 shooting and was a big factor in the Bucks’ win over the Kawhi Leonard-less Clippers.
Three of the four NBA conference semifinal series are set to go at least six games, and it’s made for very exciting viewing for fans. It also means the stakes are high, and there’s little margin for error for players in each series. That’s especially true for key players, some of whom were huge parts of their organization’s regular season success but aren’t quite replicating it during this round of the playoffs.
Here is one player from each team still standing who needs to step it up if he wants to give his side the best possible chance of advancing.
Eric Bledsoe, Bucks
The Bucks are humming along just fine against the Boston Celtics, but some added firepower from Bledsoe could really seal their opponent’s fate. Bledsoe was a nice auxiliary option for Milwaukee during the regular season, and while not a great shooter, he shot a decent 33 percent in the regular season from three-point range. In the Eastern Conference semifinals, he’s gone just 4-of-16 — good for a .211 mark. His points per game have dropped as well, and the Celtics would probably struggle to overcome a steady game from him if the rest of Milwaukee’s weapons are firing, too.