This is devastating news for the Phoenix Suns. Just awful.
Eric Bledsoe is out indefinitely with a torn meniscus that will require surgery. How this will affect Phoenix going forward is pretty easy to determine. They have played 10 games without him already this season, so we have a large sample size. They are 5-5 when Bledsoe does not play. They are a .500 team. There is no reason to believe they will be anything more or anything less without their dynamic part guard. So, with 48 games remaining, if Bledsoe does not come back it’s likely they will win around 24 games, give or take a few.
Bledsoe and Goran Dragic are like Batman and Robin, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Abbott and Costello. They play extremely well with each other, they are the engine for this Suns team. Now granted, the Suns have some good role players, but the stars of this team are their point guards.
With them, they are capable of beating anyone in the league. Without one of them, they are not. The Suns signed the veteran Leandro Barbosa to a 10-day contract and while he will help, he is not Bledsoe. And he is coming off an ACL injury suffered last season.
The meniscus in Bledsoe’s knee will need to be either taken out or repaired. Some of the new age players like Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook opt for the repair with the belief that it prolongs the career. Having it taken out gets you back on the court quicker, but may shorten the career.
The big question for Bledsoe is how this affects his upcoming restricted free agency, and I don’t think this hurts him that much.
The Suns have seen enough of him to know they love him and what he brings to the table. They will want him back and will do what’s necessary to keep him. And if there is a team out there that was willing to sign him to an offer sheet, I don’t believe this injury scares them off.
Bledsoe is young and should bounce back fine from this. Now he may not get top dollar if he only ends up playing in 24 games. If top dollar for him was $10-12 million a year, maybe he gets $8-10 million per. But I don’t see him getting 50 cents on the dollar. He is too good a player.