PHOENIX SUNS

Eric Bledsoe excited to play for potential contender in Milwaukee

Nov 8, 2017, 8:40 AM | Updated: 9:02 am
Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) drives on Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in t...

Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) drives on Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the fourth quarter during an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Phoenix. Phoenix defeated Charlotte 120-103. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
LISTEN: Eric Bledsoe, Milwaukee Bucks' and Former Suns' Guard

Former Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe is on to a new challenge after being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks onTuesday, but with it comes a far greater potential reward than what he was working with in Phoenix.

Now, instead of being the leader of a struggling, rebuilding team, Bledsoe is an integral part of the Bucks’ push toward a deep playoff run.

Bledsoe is excited to play for his new team.

“I love everything about the Milwaukee situation,” Bledsoe said Tuesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo show. “Jason Kidd, who has had tremendous success, to help me and I can learn from at that position and to play alongside a great player like Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and the other guys as well.”

The large part of that challenge is going to be how Bledsoe gels with the Bucks’ current pieces.

A score-first point guard in Phoenix, his role isn’t clear at the time of the deal.

Antetokounmpo is one of the 10 best players in the NBA, making his 33.8 usage percentage entering Tuesday, the third-highest in the league, deserved. He’s averaging 31 points, 9.9 rebounds and five assists a game for the Bucks.

Antetokounmpo is a dominant ball-handler, and the team’s other wing scorer, Khris Middleton, also gets his fair share of the rock, checking in with a 26.6 usage percentage, 34th in the NBA. That’s also not including scoring forward Jabari Parker, who is out after tearing his ACL and is expected to return sometime in the second half of the season.

Bledsoe should have no problem getting most of the touches in the backcourt. Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell are more supplementary pieces and great shooters who can play off him. Both check in at a usage percentage of under 20 percent, which rank in the bottom half among starting NBA guards.

They are both unlike Bledsoe, who is at his best with the ball in his hands. The situation is not only a challenge for Bledsoe but for head coach Jason Kidd to get everyone their fair share of touches.

One thing is for sure, though, and that’s the Bucks needing Bledsoe to take another step. Despite Antetokounmpo making another leap as an All-Star player this season, Milwaukee is 4-6 after a loss Tuesday night to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bledsoe will make the Bucks better and a postseason threat in the Eastern Conference.

“With my type of skill-set on the team we can do something special,” he said.

Penguin Air

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