Suns finalize trade of Eric Bledsoe to Bucks for Greg Monroe, picks

Nov 7, 2017, 8:35 AM | Updated: 3:57 pm
Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) passes around Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe during the sec...
Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) passes around Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)
LISTEN: Eric Bledsoe, Milwaukee Bucks' and Former Suns' Guard

The Phoenix Suns finalized a trade Tuesday that sends Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks for veteran big man Greg Monroe, a protected first-round pick and a protected second-round choice.

John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station reported the first-round pick protections are quite complex.

Phoenix gets the pick in 2018 if it is from the 11th and 16th spot. Otherwise, the pick would roll over to 2019 to be protected if it is outside fourth through 16th overall. If the Suns don’t get it in 2019, the pick conveys to the next year and will be protected from first to seventh overall in 2020.

There is no protection on the pick if it is bumped to 2021.

Additionally, the trade involves a second-round pick that conveys in 2018 if it falls from 48-60.

RELATED: Eric Bledsoe joins 98.7 FM’s Burns & Gambo after the trade

Gambadoro added that the Suns have not yet decided what to do with Monroe.

Monroe’s contract pays him nearly $18 million this season before he hits free agency after the year. The 27-year-old is averaging 6.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in 15.8 minutes. He was shut down for two weeks on Oct. 29 due to a lingering calf injury.

The trade unlocks cap space for the Suns in 2018-19. Bledsoe’s deal pays him $15 million next year. It also gives the Suns potentially three first-round draft picks in 2018: Their own, Miami’s, which is protected in the top-7 of the draft and the Bucks’ pick.

The deal comes two weeks after Bledsoe was sent home following a tweet that read, “I Dont wanna be here.”

Bledsoe’s tweet came during a hectic Oct. 22 afternoon for the franchise in which Phoenix fired head coach Earl Watson.

Bledsoe was sent home by the team the following day and he has not been with the team since.

McDonough criticized Bledsoe and his camp on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta the day after the win.

“He says he wants to be a leader — that’s the opposite of what a leader does and the opposite of what leadership is,” McDonough said.

The team’s general manager said he believes that Bledsoe is a good person and very good player, but feels he is receiving “bad advice” from those around him.

Bledsoe played in three games for the Suns in the 2017-18 season: the franchise’s worst loss ever in the season opener against Portland, a narrow defeat at home to the Lakers and a 42-point loss to the Clippers. In those three appearances, Bledsoe averaged 15.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station reported that Bledsoe and the team had two meetings during the preseason to discuss a potential trade.

Acquired in 2013 from the Los Angeles Clippers, the 27-year-old Bledsoe averaged 18.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.6 steals a game in his 224 career games for the Suns.

Bledsoe was the last remaining point guard from a 2014-15 team that saw the Suns enter the season with a roster that included him, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas. Dragic was traded to Miami, and Thomas was dealt to Boston in February of 2015.

He has two years left on his contract he signed with the Suns in the summer of 2014 worth $70 million over five years. McDonough said on 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo that Bledsoe and his representatives were seeking an extension this past offseason.

Bledsoe’s departure makes center Alex Len the lone player remaining from the 2013-14 Suns team that won 48 games.

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