Miami Heat are trying to acquire Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe, who has been on the trading block for several months, per several league sources.
Last month, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Suns were determined to trade either Brandon Knight or Bledsoe, seeing as Devin Booker will be the starting shooting guard next season
The growing sense in league circles is that the Suns are determined to move either Bledsoe or Brandon Knight before the start of next season
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 23, 2016
With the emergence of Booker, the team’s new franchise player, the Suns will find it difficult to accommodate both Knight and Bledsoe in the rotation.
When healthy, Bledsoe is arguably a top-10 point guard in the league with the ability to dominate on both ends of the floor. However, Bledsoe’s poor conditioning and history of injuries have given general managers cause for concern. Last season, Bledsoe missed over 50 games after undergoing a surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
During Bledsoe’s absence, the Suns backcourt of Brandon Knight (19.6 ppg, 5.1 apg) and Booker developed on-court chemistry and could possibly continue to be the starters next season.
Eric Bledsoe: What can Heat offer?
It’s simple. Miami can offer Goran Dragic, who spent many years in Phoenix over two different stints between 2008 and 2015.
Dragic was traded to Miami prior to last year’s trade deadline. After that, the Slovenian guard signed a five-year, $85 million contract to remain in South Beach last summer.
The 30-year-old averaged 14.1 points and 5.8 assists last season from 72 games. However, his defense was a cause for concern, especially during the playoff series against the Toronto Raptors.
According to ESPN’s trade machine, a direct swap between Bledsoe and Dragic is feasible.
Heat, who have other blossoming backcourt players such as Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson, won’t mind gambling on Bledsoe, who has three full seasons left on the five-year contract he signed with Phoenix prior to the 2014-15 season.
It’s a win-win situation for both teams. Eric Bledsoe, an elite defender, would help Miami solve their backcourt defensive woes, and Dragic would get to return to the franchise that made him a borderline all-star.