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Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 8/4/15

In the NBA, the point guard is arguably the most important player on the floor, and in today’s era of small-ball, having an effective floor general is growing increasingly vital to the success of any franchise. There are quite a few superstars who man the one spot around the league, though it is certainly up for debate as to whom the top playmaker currently is. I’d like to approach this subject a bit differently than past topics, and rather than simply asking you to chime in on who you believe to be the top point guard in the NBA, I’m going to present this in a versus format that we’ll run periodically in these Shootarounds throughout the Summer.

Today’s matchup is: Eric Bledsoe (Suns) vs. Reggie Jackson (Pistons). Which of the two point guards would you prefer to start for your team?

Both players began their NBA careers as backups to All-Star caliber point guards and were traded prior to becoming starters. The two players are also similar in that they are score-first guards, rather than pure ball-distributors. Bledsoe has shown himself to be the better defender of the two, which certainly helps his cause, but I’d argue that Jackson’s ceiling as a player offensively is much higher. The Suns’ guard has had two seasons to display his wares as a starter, though his 2013/14 campaign was shortened due to injury, and Bledsoe is likely to continue to put up averages in the range of 17-19 points and 5-7 assists per night. Very respectable stats, though Bledsoe has yet to demonstrate that he has the ability to elevate and carry a team into contention. Bledsoe, 25, made 81 appearances for Phoenix last season, averaging 17.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists in 34.6 minutes per contest, and his shooting line was .447/.324/.800. His career numbers through five NBA campaigns are 10.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 4.1 APG.

Jackson, who is also 25, played in a total of 77 contests split between the Thunder and the Pistons during the 2014/15 season. He notched 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 29.5 minutes per night, with a slash line of .434/.299/.830. Jackson’s career stats through four NBA seasons are 9.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 3.6 APG. The jury is still out on Jackson as a starter, though in a small sample size with the Pistons last season he was quite impressive, notching 9.2 assists in his 27 starts with the team. It remains to be seen if Jackson can maintain those numbers over the long haul, as well as become a leader who can take his squad to the next level.

If you were the GM of a team and were given the choice between the two players, which one would you choose? Why did you pick one over the other? Do you believe each is worth their 2015/16 salary ($13,913,044 for Jackson and $13.5MM for Bledsoe)? Take to the comments section below to sound off with your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.

Note: Since these Shootarounds are meant to be guided by you the reader, we certainly welcome your input on the topics we present. If there is something you’d like to see pop up here for a discussion, shoot me a message at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @EddieScarito to submit topics or ideas for what we should present in future posts.

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16 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 8/4/15

  1. Eric

    I would have to go with a Eric Bledsoe

    • Eddie Scarito

      Any particular reason? Or just a Bledsoe fan?

  2. Jonathan Dugan

    Bledsoe is the much better option, defensively he can anchor a backcourt. His ability to jump the pass or body other guards is priceless. His offense is undoubtedly his weaker asset especially when you consider his turnover rate. His driving ability is definitely better than average while his jump shot is still a work in progress. Bledsoe’s intangibles in my opinion are leaps and bounds better than Jackson’s.

  3. Mike

    I think Bledsoe is the better all-around player.

    The only knocks on him are his assertiveness & outside shooting. He is never going to put up “eye popping” assist numbers because of the Suns system that starts two PG(s) which takes some of the ball handling away from him.

    • Eddie Scarito

      Excellent points regarding Phoenix’s offense. You’re absolutely correct that it will limit Bledsoe’s assist totals. I’m a fan of his game, though if I was starting a team and could only sign one I’d lean toward Jackson because of his upside. I think we’ve only seen the beginning of what he’s capable of, whilst Bledsoe is close to his ceiling in my opinion. I always bank on upside in debates like these, though there truly is no “right” answer.

      • Z.....

        I personally believe Bledsoe has more upside

        • jason m.

          I dont think so, I think we’ve seen what bledsoe can do. He’s been given the reigns on a couple of real good teams. Whereas Jackson has certainly risen while with the Pistons, with triple doubles and 20/20 games.

          • Z.....

            I disagree with the notion that Bledsoe has had the same opportunity that Jackson has with the Pistons. I have always liked Reggie Jackson. I just think Bledsoe is the better player, and is capable of being the better player if they both reached their ceiling

  4. I would take bledsoe, much better defender and shooter. Jackson takes to many off the dribble 3’s and his efficiency is still below average

    • Arthur Hill

      I agree that Bledsoe’s defense tips the scales in his favor. Plus, I wouldn’t be comfortable giving max money to Jackson.

  5. Z.....

    Eric Bledsoe

  6. Chuck Myron

    Given the heavy pro-Bledsoe sentiment here, I wonder if he thinks now that he’d have been better off taking the qualifying offer last summer and entering the same market that yielded Jackson’s deal. Bledsoe seems like he’d be valued at more than the $70MM over five years that he signed for.

    • I’m sure Bledsoe would have ended up with more on his contract had he waited a year. He could have used the threat of leaving more than Jackson could have threatened to pick up the QO

    • Z.....

      I thought it was a good bargain at the time. Definitely would have got more this year as an unrestricted free agent PG in a market full of restricted free agents and Dragic, who stayed with the heat

  7. C Popp

    Like others on here, I’m taking Bledsoe because of his defense. Both guys need to cut down on the turnovers and improve their perimeter shooting. But I think Bledsoe with less TO and more 3PT, matched with his plus defense, would be better than Jackson with less TO and more 3PT.

  8. Chris Crouse

    If the Suns offered Bledsoe for Jackson, I’d think the Pistons would take it. I don’t think that would be the case if the situation was reversed.

    Jackson is a nice player; however, he’s in the tier below Bledsoe as far as I’m concerned. I’d put him on the same level as MCW. Both can make plays and will look good in the box score, but are we sure they are even that good?

    Jackson doesn’t have a large sample size as a starter. He has shown flashes of potential and as he plays more in the starter’s role, he could develop and surpass Bledsoe on the NBA point guard totem pole, but would you bet on that happening?

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