We’re five days into the Kyrie Irving-wants-out trade demand, and speculation has been fun, but there’s been no actual news.
Except for the fact that the Suns are rumored to be in the mix for Irving via trade. Since Irving is one of the best bargains in the NBA – he’s only going to be the 43rd highest paid player next year – he could be dealt to Phoenix for a package of Bledsoe and their 2017 1st round pick, Josh Jackson.
Why the Cavs would be clamoring for Bledsoe – who has played seven NBA seasons and had three major knee surgeries – is a bit of a mystery. Yes, he’s a good defender, and he can get buckets – 21.1 ppg – but he’s a significantly worse shooter than Irving. It just means a larger scoring load on LeBron in the playoffs, and he turns 33 in December.
I like Josh Jackson a lot, but the idea of him being a huge factor in a playoff run against Boston or the Warriors is a bit silly.
Let’s say the Suns trade happens. This would be Cleveland’s end-game lineup against the Celtics: Derrick Rose, Eric Bledsoe, JR Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Love. When LeBron has an off game, and they need someone to pull a Kyrie Irving and explode for a 21-point quarter … can Rose do that? Nope. Can Bledsoe? Nope.
Athletic … but is there enough shooting? I’d make the Celtics the favorites in the East.