Let’s break down the first big trade of the Ryan McDonough era.
I always believe the team that gets the best player wins the trade, and Phoenix got the best player here. In getting Eric Bledsoe, the Suns acquired a young, dynamic point guard that is a freak athlete, good shooter, makes game-changing plays on defense and is only 23 years old.
Now Bledsoe is no star, but he is a good talent. The knock on him is that he is somewhat overrated and the Clippers played around .500 ball when he started for the injured Chris Paul. He is not considered a hard worker and takes way too many gambles on defense that end up costing his team.
So with that being said, there are pluses and minuses, but he is a good good player and a great asset to have. He is under contract for one more year, so Bledsoe is eligible for a rookie extension come October, and he would be a restricted free agent in July if he doesn’t re-sign with Phoenix in the fall. The Suns would have sign-and-trade options available if they can’t re-sign him, but word I’m hearing is Phoenix will try and hammer out an extension.
As for having two point guards, Bledsoe and Goran Dragic can play together, and while the team will be a little small, it can work.
Butler is a 12-year vet in the final year of a deal paying him $8 million this season. I can’t imagine he will be happy going from a starter on a 56-win team with the Clippers to a Suns team in rebuilding mode.
Butler is a big small forward, can shoot the three, is tough, hard-nosed and strong. The negatives on him are that he doesn’t rebound, doesn’t get up and down the court — as he is more of a plodder — doesn’t defend and won’t practice. If he is motivated by being in the last year of his deal he can be a good player for Phoenix, comparable to the player they traded away in Jared Dudley. He is a solid pickup for one year with $8 million in cap space when he walks at the end of the year.
Overall, a good trade for Phoenix.