Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe
31-Year-Old GuardG
Los Angeles Clippers
2021 Fantasy Outlook
After nearly three full seasons in Milwaukee, Bledsoe was dealt to the Pelicans ahead of the 2020-21 campaign in the deal that sent Jrue Holiday to the Bucks. Bledsoe remained a starter in New Orleans, but he saw an overall role reduction. The point guard averaged 12.2 points, 3.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 29.7 minutes. He also shot a rough 42/34/69, which resulted in his worst true-shooting percentage (53.3%) since becoming a full-time starter in 2013-14. The result, unsurprisingly, was Bledsoe posting his worst per-game fantasy production (rank 203) since 2011-12 (rank 327). It was by far the worst per-minute production of his career (rank 304). Some of his woes may have been the result of being used more off-ball for the first time in his career, as he was forced to cater to the needs of Lonzo Ball, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Bledsoe is not an off-ball player considering his weak three-point percentage and lack of size. As a percentage of his overall shot attempts, Bledsoe shot the second-most corner threes of his career (11%) and had his fewest attempts at the rim (21%). His steal rate has also declined in each of the past three seasons. During the 2021 offseason, Bledsoe was dealt from the Pelicans to the Clippers, where he'll likely either back up Reggie Jackson or start at shooting guard. Either way, there's a good chance he spends a lot of time with the second unit, as he wouldn't often be running the show with the starters when flanked by Reggie Jackson and Paul George. There's an opportunity for Bledsoe to have somewhat of a revival, but it's also fair to wonder if the 31-year-old is hitting a wall due to decreasing athleticism and a poor shot. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $70 million contract extension with the Bucks in March of 2019. Traded to the Pelicans in November of 2020. Traded to the Grizzlies in August of 2021.
Personal Bio

Eric Bledsoe was born in Birmingham in 1989. The son of Eric Bledsoe Sr. and Maureen Reddick, Bledsoe graduated from Parker High School in Birmingham, where he averaged 20.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 11.5 assists per game during his senior season in 2009 and led his team to a 5A state championship runner-up finish. At Kentucky, Bledsoe averaged 11.3 points and 2.9 assists per game, sharing the floor with the likes of John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. After averaging 15.3 points in four NCAA Tournament contests, Bledsoe was named to the Sporting News SEC All-Freshman Team. Bledsoe helps run the Eric Bledsoe Foundation, which works in conjunction with The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham to "continually improve the community by focusing on the needs of the youth". To that end, he hosts an annual charity basketball game, which has included NBA stars such as Devin Booker, John Wall, Alex Len, Archie Goodwin, and Brandon Knight. More information can be found on Bledsoe's foundation's website, alabamafusion.com. You can follow Eric Bledsoe on Twitter @Ebled2 and on Instagram @Thebledshow

College/International Summary

Bledsoe joined John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins in coach John Calipari's first recruiting class to Kentucky. The 6-1 guard played next to Wall throughout the season and served as the team's shooting guard despite being a natural point guard. He would go on to provide 11.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals. Bledsoe also put up at least 20 points in four games. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman team along with the All-SEC Tournament team. The guard scored 18 points in the win over Mississippi State in the SEC Championship and followed that up with a career-high 29 in the first-round win over East Tennessee State in the NCAA Tournament - including a school record eight three-pointers. The Wildcats advanced to the Elite Eight and Bledsoe averaged 15.3 points on 58.8 percent from the field along with 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals. After one season at Kentucky, he declared for the 2010 Draft.

Headed back to Clippers
GMemphis Grizzlies
August 15, 2021
Bledsoe was traded to the Clippers on Sunday in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and Daniel Oturu, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Less than a month ago, Bledsoe was dealt from New Orleans to Memphis as part of the Jonas Valanciunas-Steven Adams swap, but it was widely believed the veteran guard would be rerouted before the start of the 2021-22 season. Bledsoe will now head back to Los Angeles to play for the franchise with which he spent the first three years of his pro career. The 31-year-old's value has taken a bit of a hit over the last year or so, but he'll bring much-needed depth, defense and playmaking to a roster that will likely be without Kawhi Leonard (knee) for much of the 2021-22 season. The Clippers retained Reggie Jackson in free agency, but Bledsoe will likely be a top candidate -- along with Terance Mann and Luke Kennard -- to fill the other starting guard spot. Bledsoe closed last season with averages of 12.2 points, 3.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 0.8 steals per game in 71 appearances for the Pelicans.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

In Bledsoe's first season with the Pelicans, the guard appeared in 71 games and saw 29.7 minutes per contest. The guard started in all but one game and recorded season averages of 12.2 points, 3.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 0.8 steals. Bledsoe made 42.1 percent from the field, 68.7 percent from the free-throw line and 34.1 percent from behind the three-point arc. On the season, the former Kentucky star logged 45 double-digit scoring performances and four double-doubles. One of his best games of the season came against the Timberwolves on Jan 23., where Bledsoe dropped a season-high 28 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists and a steal. Another impressive game from Bledsoe came on Jan. 29 against the Bucks, as Bledsoe put up 25 points, four assists, two rebounds and a block. In that game, Bledsoe matched a career-high of seven three-pointers made. On defense, Bledsoe proved he can force turnovers, as he ended the year with 36 games with at least one steal and 22 games with at least one block. The guard's best defensive performance came against Orlando on April 1, as he notched two steals and two blocks. One bright spot for the 31-year-old is that he decreased his turnovers per game from 2.4 during the 2019-20 season down to 1.6 this season.

2019

The 2019-20 season marked Bledsoe's second full season with the Bucks. He recorded averages of 14.9 points, 5.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 combined steals-plus-blocks per game. The point guard shot 47.5 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from three and 79.0 percent from the charity stripe. During a win over the Timberwolves on Nov. 4, Bledsoe grabbed a season-high nine rebounds in addition to posting 22 points, six assists and one steal. Later in the month, Nov. 27 in a win over the Hawks, Bledsoe blocked a season-high two shots -- a mark he'd reach three more times. He also posted a season-high 10 assists in that contest, and he'd reach that mark three more times. During a victory over the Bulls on Dec. 30, Bledsoe swiped a season-high four steals while also recording 15 points, three assists and three rebounds. About a month later in a win over the Wizards on Jan. 28, Bledsoe scored a season-high 34 points while also contributing 10 assists, six rebounds and one steal. During the Bucks' first round playoff series against the Magic, Bledsoe averaged 11.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 combined steals-plus-blocks. The next round against the Heat, Bledsoe averaged 11.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 combined steals-plus-blocks. For the second straight season, Bledsoe was named to an All-Defensive team (second), and he posted the seventh-best defensive rating (103.8) in the NBA.

2018

After coming over from Phoenix during the 2017-18 season, Bledsoe played his first full season with the Bucks in 2018-19. Playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon, Bledsoe didn't need to score as much as he had in his four years with the Suns, though he did play in his most games (78) since the 2014-15 season. He averaged 15.9 points in 29.1 minutes and started every game he played for Milwaukee. Bledsoe maintained averages in rebounds (4.6) and assists (5.5), consistent with his career averages in those categories. He shot a career-high 48.4 field goal percentage. Bledsoe played great defense, recording 1.5 steals per game and earning his first NBA All-Defensive First Team selection. He recorded eight double-doubles and one triple-double in the campaign. Bledsoe's highest-scoring game came in a loss to Brooklyn on April 6, where the guard went for 33 points and added 11 assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block in 33 minutes. His triple-double was recorded on Feb. 27 in a win over Sacramento, where he totaled 26 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds. He recorded multiple steals in 38 games, scored over 20 points 20 times, and handed out double-digit assists six times during the season.

2017

Bledsoe began the 2017-18 season in Phoenix but played only three games for the Suns before being shipped to Milwaukee in early November. He immediately took over the starting point guard position and helped the Bucks earn their second straight playoff berth. Bledsoe's 17.8 points per game ranked third on the team while his 5.1 assists per game paced the squad. He also led Milwaukee in steals with 2.0 thefts per game - which placed him third-best in the league. Overall, Bledsoe enjoyed his finest shooting campaign as his 58.2 True Shooting Percentage and 53.6 Effective Field Goal Percentage represented the best marks of his career. He registered his fourth career triple-double in a win against Orlando on Apr. 9, tallying 20 points along with 12 rebounds and 11 assists. In a victory over the Lakers on Mar. 30, Bledsoe notched a season-high 39 points with seven three-pointers and complemented his scoring with six assists and four steals. The ex-Kentucky Wildcat followed his solid regular season with a strong showing in his first playoff series since 2012-13. Although the Bucks were eliminated in seven games by Boston in the first round, Bledsoe contributed per-game averages of 13.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He put forth a valiant effort in Game 7 by draining 9-of-12 shots from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line on his way to 23 points.

2016

Bledsoe enjoyed his best season to date during the 2016-17 campaign, despite being shut down March 16 due to knee soreness. The University of Kentucky product started all 66 games in which he played. Bledsoe scored 20 or more points on 34 separate occasions. That sample includes three tallies of 40 points or more. While his ability to fill up the stat sheet was certainly welcome, Bledsoe proved to be more than a one-trick pony. The 6-foot-1 guard had a pair of double-digit rebounding games. He also logged 10 or more assists six different times. He best all-around performance of the year may well have been a massive 25-point, 13-assist, 10-rebound triple-double in a big win over the Lakers on February 15. Defensively, Bledsoe averaged at least 1.4 steals (1.4) for a fifth consecutive season. Then, the emerging guard made good use of his visits to the free-throw line. Bledsoe shot a career-best 84.7 percent from the charity stripe.

2015

Bledsoe's campaign was cut short after he suffered a torn meniscus the day after Christmas, which required season-ending surgery. He appeared in 31 games, starting each one and setting career highs in points (20.4), steals (2.0) and free-throw percentage (80.2). He also pitched in 6.1 assists and 4.0 rebounds and shot 45.3 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from deep. He shot especially well in 15 November games, going 27-of-61 (44.3 percent) from three. Bledsoe's best game of the season occurred Oct. 31 in an 11-point victory over the Trail Blazers. Across 38 minutes, he posted 33 points (12-21 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 7-9 FT), six assists, four steals, three rebounds and two blocks. That was one of his three 30-point efforts of the season. It was also one of his seven performances with at least five assists, one steal and one block. In addition, Bledsoe had a trio of double-doubles. He was also part of the Suns' most successful five-man group (minimum 50 minutes played). When Bledsoe was alongside Brandon Knight, PJ Tucker, Marcus Morris and Tyson Chandler, Phoenix was plus-4.7 points per 100 possessions. The Suns finished the season 23-59 and didn't make the playoffs.

2014

The 2014-15 season marked Bledsoe's first injury-free campaign as a starter. During his second year with the Suns, the 25-year-old averaged 17.0 points, a career-high 6.1 assists and 5.2 rebounds, plus 1.6 steals across 34.6 minutes. He also found his way onto the NBA's leaderboards. Bledsoe ranked eighth in minutes played (2,800), 10th in both made free throws (353) and attempts (441), plus 13th in assists (493) and steals (127). Bledsoe finished the season with 13 double-doubles and two triple-doubles, plus three 30-point games, eight performances with 10-plus rebounds, nine games with 10-plus assists, and 21 efforts with three or more steals. Arguably his best game of the season occurred Mar. 21 in a 15-point victory over the Rockets on the road. Bledsoe posted 34 points (11-18 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 10-11 FT), eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block in 37 minutes. The Suns failed to make the playoffs, reaching a 39-43 record under head coach Jeff Hornacek. However, Bledsoe found himself a part of the team's most frequent five-man combination, which held a positive net rating of plus-6.5 points across a 391-minute sample. It also contained Goran Dragic, Markieff Morris, PJ Tucker and Alex Len.

2013

After spending his first three seasons with the Clippers, Bledsoe was traded to the Suns on July 10, 2013. He proceeded to become a starter for the first time in his career, getting the nod in 40 of his 43 appearances. Though Bledsoe missed significant time with injury, he played well when healthy, setting career highs essentially across the board in his new, expanded role. He averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 32.9 minutes. Not only did he shoot at a higher volume, Bledsoe managed a career-high 57.8 true-shooting percentage. Bledsoe finished the year with four double-doubles, plus two 30-point games, three games with 10-plus assists, 28 performances with five-plus rebounds and 13 efforts with three or more steals. Arguably his best game of the season occurred Dec. 13 in a nine-point win over the Kings at home. Bledsoe played 35 minutes and posted 28 points (11-16 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT), eight assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Though the Suns finished the season 48-34 under head coach Jeff Hornacek, it wasn't enough for a postseason berth. Phoenix was 28-15 in games Bledsoe appeared in.

2012

Bledsoe regained his footing in 2012-13 after appearing in just 40 games due to injury the year prior. The third-year point guard played in 76 games (12 starts), averaging career highs in points (8.5), true-shooting percentage (51.3), rebounds (3.0) and steals (1.4) while also contributing 3.1 assists across 20.4 minutes. He continued to establish himself as a defensive force behind starter Chris Paul, with Bledsoe ranking third in the NBA in steal percentage (3.7) and 16th in defensive box plus/minus (2.7). Bledsoe finished the year with two double-doubles, plus two 20-point games, two double-digit assist efforts and 12 games with at least three steals. His best performance of the season occurred Feb. 3 in a two-point loss to the Celtics on the road. Bledsoe posted 23 points (9-15 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 10 assists, seven rebounds, two steals and a block across 38 minutes. The Clippers finished the year 56-26 and played in the first round of the postseason, losing to the Grizzlies in six games. Bledsoe saw 16.2 minutes per game in the postseason, averaging 6.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He led the Clippers in assists per 36 minutes (6.7). His best postseason effort was in a Game 1 victory, with Bledsoe racking up 15 points (7-7 FG, 1-2 FT), six rebounds and four assists in 18 minutes.

2011

Bledsoe missed the first 17 games of the season due to a torn meniscus, and he ended up appearing in just 40 contests, not cracking the 20-minute mark in a single appearance until early April. It seemed like he struggled to get comfortable coming off the injury, and he averaged 3.3 points, 1.7 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 11.6 minutes. Bledsoe's best performance of the season occurred Mar. 14 in a 14-point victory over the Hawks at home. He posted 14 points (5-8 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 2-3 FT), four steals and two blocks across 17 minutes. The Clippers finished the season 40-26 and made it to the Western Conference Semifinals. The 2012 postseason marked the first of Bledsoe's career, and he came prepared. He appeared in all 11 games, seeing 17.2 minutes per contest and averaging 7.9 points on 58.7 percent shooting, plus 2.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals. Out of everyone on the Clippers in the playoffs, Bledsoe finished with the highest win shares per 48 minutes (.168) and tied Nick Young for the best offensive rating (114). Bledsoe's best game of the postseason was during Game 1 against the Spurs in the second round. In the 108-92 loss, Bledsoe posted 23 points (10-16 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block in 27 minutes.

2010

Following one season at Kentucky, Bledsoe was selected 18th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft and proceeded to play his rookie campaign for the Clippers. He earned Second Team All-Rookie honors, averaging 6.7 points, 3.6 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 22.7 minutes. Notably, Bledsoe finished with the NBA's 13th-best steal percentage (2.6). Bledsoe earned 25 starts in 81 appearances, and in those games, he averaged 8.9 points, 5.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds while totaling 29 steals and nine blocks. He finished with one double-double, plus two games with 20-plus points, 28 games with five-plus assists and nine games with three-plus steals. Arguably his best performance of the season occurred Mar. 5 in a six-point victory at home over the Nuggets. Bledsoe posted 20 points (7-11 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 4-5 FT), seven steals, four rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes. The Clippers finished the season 32-50 under head coach Vinny Del Negro.

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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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During the offseason, Bledsoe was dealt from the Bucks to the Pelicans in the deal that brought Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee. About to turn 31 years old, Bledsoe doesn't seem to fit the Pelicans' timeline, and with a lack of an outside shot, he's not an ideal fit with Zion Williamson either. Still, we shouldn't be surprised if Bledsoe finds himself in a sixth-man role. Last season with the Bucks, he saw 27.0 minutes per game, averaging 14.9 points, 5.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds. That kind of workload seems possible with New Orleans, so his fantasy stock might not take a huge dip. He ranked 66th in per-game fantasy production last season. That said, the situation is risky and Bledsoe could have his worst season since he left the Clippers in 2013-14.
In his first full season with the Bucks, Bledsoe was selected to his first All-Defensive team. He ranked 14th in the NBA in total steals and racked up 13 games with at least three swipes. He also set a career high in field-goal percentage (48.4) while averaging 15.9 points, 5.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 29.1 minutes. Bledsoe's upside is somewhat capped given the presence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the point guard could be relied upon more this season given the departure of Malcolm Brogdon. With Brogdon off the court last season, Bledsoe gained 5.6 percent extra usage and averaged 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals per 36 minutes. While it's unclear if Bledsoe will see more time on the floor with Brogdon gone, it's certainly a possibility. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect huge improvements from Bledsoe in his age 30 season, but his role in the Bucks' offense seems as secure as ever.
Bledsoe spent just three games in Phoenix last season after being shipped to Milwaukee, where he started in all 71 of his appearances. He continued his work as a solid defender and scorer, averaging a combined 2.6 steals/blocks and 17.8 points on 47.6 percent shooting. While he’s not a top-tier three-point shooter (34.9 percent) he hit a career-high 1.7 threes per tilt last season. However, the 28-year-old still isn't much of a distributor, averaging 5.1 assists with the Bucks last year -- his lowest mark since 2012-13. Unless coach Mike Budenholzer drastically changes things, Bledsoe probably won't make strides as a passer this season considering the ball handling responsibilities of Giannis Antetokounmpo (and, to some extent, Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker). When on the court, Bledsoe is a top-30 player, though health concerns remain. By his standards, Bledsoe was healthy for the 2017-18 campaign, but is averaging just 59 games played since he became a full-time starter in 2013-14.
Bledsoe, who’s been injury prone throughout his career, played just 66 games last season due to knee soreness. A large chunk of his missed time came after coach Earl Watson opted to shut Bledsoe down for the remainder of the year on March 16 due to the team being well out of playoff contention. Bledsoe put together a quality season in the games he did play, however, posting 21.1 points, 6.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals across 33.0 minutes per game. He also shot 43.4 percent from the field and drilled 1.6 threes per game at a 33.5 percent clip. The 6-foot-1 point guard has always been lauded as a gritty hustle player and top-tier defender at the position, demonstrated by his aforementioned above average rebounding and steal numbers. While he’s somewhat turnover prone, averaging 3.4 per game last season, his general proficiency across the board helps make up for it. That proficiency also means Bledsoe is no stranger to stuffing the stat sheet for big games, as he recorded seven double-doubles and one triple-double during the 2016-17 campaign. He also put together 12 games with at least 30 points, 13 games with at least three steals and 23 games with at least one block. While there are certainly more efficient and/or traditional choices in Fantasy at the point guard slot, few offer the kind of well-rounded game Bledsoe does, especially on the boards and defense. Assuming Bledsoe can stay healthy, there’s no reason to believe he shouldn’t be a top-15 Fantasy point guard with sneaky top-10 potential.
In his sixth NBA campaign, Bledsoe seemed to be blossoming into a full-fledged star through the season’s first two months. The point guard was holding down career-high averages of 20.4 points, 6.1 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 three-pointers per game over 31 appearances until disaster struck in December. The point guard left a Dec. 26 game with a sprained left knee and was later revealed to have suffered a torn meniscus, which required season-ending surgery. With their best playmaker off the court, the Suns predictably went into free-fall mode, limping to a 23-59 finish. It was the second time in three years that Bledsoe had suffered a meniscus injury after having previously torn up the right knee in 2013-14, putting the onus on the 26-year-old to shed the ‘injury-prone’ label as he enters the upcoming season. By all accounts, Bledsoe has progressed well in the rehab process and was taking part in five-on-five work prior to training camp, so it doesn’t look like he’ll enter the season with any restrictions. Concerns about Bledsoe’s knee issues resurfacing are certainly warranted, but when he’s on the court, few fantasy point guards can stack up with him. Along with providing a bounty of counting stats, Bledsoe holds his own in the percentage categories with career marks of 44.7 percent from the field and 78.1 percent from the free-throw line. Those who are risk averse may want to stay away from investing an early-round pick or significant portion of their auction budget in Bledsoe, but his upside will surely be too tantalizing for some owners to pass up.
After signing a new deal last summer, Bledsoe enters 2015-16 as the face of a franchise that has seen considerable turnover in just a year's span. He began last season in a crowded, but talented, backcourt that also included Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, a three-point-guard experiment that ultimately floundered as Phoenix failed to take the next step in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. By season's end, Dragic and Thomas had been moved, as the Suns opted to go in a new direction, bringing in Brandon Knight from Milwaukee to be Bledsoe's running mate of the future. While injuries limited Knight to only 11 games in a Suns uniform, Bledsoe enjoyed a strong season, starting a career-best 81 games and averaging 17.0 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.2 rebounds in 35 minutes per game. Bledsoe shot 45 percent from the floor, a hair above his career average, but he took a slight step back from beyond the arc, converting only 32 percent of his three-point attempts. The Suns are one of the league's biggest mysteries heading into the season, especially given what's transpired with standout forward Markieff Morris, the team's second-leading scorer last season. If Morris' wish to be moved is granted, Bledsoe will be asked to take on an even greater offensive burden. He'll team with Knight to form one of the West's best young backcourts, and the pair figure to split playmaking and ball-handling duties. Knight is the better catch-and-shoot player, however, so Bledsoe figures to spend more time on the ball.
Bledsoe is entering his fifth year in the NBA and his second with the Suns. Despite missing 39 games to injury last season, Bledsoe put together some solid numbers when healthy. He averaged a career-best 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 33 minutes per game. Bledsoe shot an impressive 48 percent from the field on 12.9 attempts, 36 percent from beyond the arc on 3.3 attempts, and 77 percent from the free-throw line on 5.5 attempts per game. While he has not officially signed his free agent tender yet, the Suns are set to match any offer his receives, with the likely scenario being Bledsoe returns to Phoenix on a one-year deal. However, the possibility of a trade still looms, with the Suns' offseason acquisition of Isaiah Thomas lending credence to the belief that they're prepared to move on without offering Bledsoe a max or near-max deal. In any case, assuming he returns to Phoenix, Bledsoe will likely retain his starting guard spot, as well as the potential for some major production. He carries the potential to combine efficient scoring with elite-level steals numbers and sneaky rebound and assist totals. Injuries are a concern, but if healthy, Bledsoe is a candidate to have a big 2014-15 season.
Bledsoe has shown glimpses of big-time potential in his first three NBA seasons, but as a backup to Chris Paul on a very deep Clipper team, his opportunities to play were (rightfully) limited. That changes this season. Bledsoe was dealt to the Suns as part of the three-way deal that sent Caron Butler to Milwaukee and Jared Dudley to LA. On what promises to be a pretty bad Phoenix team, Bledsoe will get all the playing time he can handle. Is he up to the challenge? His per-36 numbers say yes – his averages last season would translate to 14.9 points, 5.1 assists and 5.0 boards on a per-36 basis. That's probably optimistic, but cut those totals by 15 or 20 percent and you'd still have a pretty good player. An important trend to watch: Bledsoe shot just under 30 percent from long range in his first two NBA seasons, but hit at a 40 percent clip last year. Improvement? Or a statistical aberration based on small sample size (just 31 makes on the year). Bledsoe is a point guard by trade, but it appears he'll start in the Suns backcourt alongside Goran Dragic as the nominal shooting guard.
The real question for Bledsoe in the upcoming season will be, “How much playing time is he going to get?” Bledsoe played only 11.6 minutes per game last season and though he didn’t put up superb numbers, coach Vinny Del Negro never really allowed him to get into a rhythm in the regular season. The postseason, however, was Bledsoe’s coming out party. Del Negro played him 17.2 minutes per game and the second-year guard averaged 16.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per 36 minutes. If Bledsoe continues to improve – and he’s only 22 – he could end up seeing plenty of more playing time in the upcoming season, especially considering he is probably the best perimeter defender on the roster.
This off-season wasn’t kind to the young Bledsoe. First, he had surgery on a torn meniscus in his knee, and will miss the beginning of the season. And now he has not just one, but two veteran guards in front of him on the depth chart. Unless injury strikes, or either Chauncey Billups or Mo Williams gets traded, then there is no reason to draft Bledsoe in 2011-12.
Bledsoe was drafted for his talent and potential as a future point guard in the NBA, but he isn’t likely to contribute much for the Clippers this season. He’s a great shooter, but he turns the ball over too often and is an unproven facilitator.
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Shipped to Memphis
GMemphis Grizzlies
July 26, 2021
Bledsoe was traded to Memphis on Monday, along with Steven Adams, as part of a package that brings Jonas Valanciunas to New Orleans, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
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Puts up 15 points in loss
GNew Orleans Pelicans
May 13, 2021
Bledsoe delivered 15 points (5-11 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 4-7 FT), four assists, two rebounds and a steal across 26 minutes in Wednesday's loss against the Mavericks.
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Churns out season-best fantasy line
GNew Orleans Pelicans
May 10, 2021
Bledsoe produced 24 points (8-17 FG, 5-10 3Pt, 3-9 3Pt), 11 assists, four rebounds and two steals in 33 minutes Sunday in the Pelicans' 112-110 win over the Hornets.
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Scores 18 points in loss
GNew Orleans Pelicans
May 7, 2021
Bledsoe recorded 18 points (7-20 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 3-4 FT), five rebounds, four assists and two steals in 40 minutes of Friday's 109-107 loss to the 76ers.
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Scores in double digits again
GNew Orleans Pelicans
May 5, 2021
Bledsoe recorded 14 points (5-11 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), five rebounds and four assists across 34 minutes in Tuesday's win over the Warriors.
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