THURSDAY, 10:46am: Some within the Knicks’ organization want Bledsoe, but so far, the Suns are holding off on talks, Broussard tweets.
8:07am: Sources tell Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (on Twitter) that there are no talks happening between the Knicks and Suns regarding Bledsoe and the No. 4 pick.
WEDNESDAY, 9:35am: The Knicks continue to mull the idea of trading for Bledsoe, along with the 13th pick, if D’Angelo Russell isn’t available to the Knicks at the No. 4 spot in Thursday’s draft, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv hears (Twitter link). Still, just how enthusiastic the Suns are about the notion is unclear, given the conflicting reports.
TUESDAY, 11:53am: Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders heard from sources close to Bledsoe and the Knicks who laughed off the idea of trade talks (Twitter link).
MONDAY, 2:15pm: The Suns have discussed Eric Bledsoe trade scenarios with other teams, including the Knicks, and are likely to continue to do so after the draft if they haven’t dealt him by then, according to sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. The No. 4 overall pick was also a subject of talks with New York, Deveney notes, adding on Twitter that the team has shopped Bledsoe to the Knicks and just about every team higher up on the lottery. It’s not clear whether he means higher than the Knicks or higher than themselves, as Phoenix is set to pick 13th.
Bledsoe is one season into a five-year, $70MM deal. That Phoenix would be willing, or even eager, to trade Bledsoe is somewhat surprising and represents an apparent shift in thinking from last summer. That’s when the team re-signed Bledsoe and signed-and-traded for Isaiah Thomas, banking that they and Goran Dragic would work in a backcourt that featured three highly skilled point guards. The Suns traded Thomas and Dragic at the deadline, as well as 2014 first-round pick Tyler Ennis, who’s also a point guard. The deadline moves did bring in Brandon Knight, who’s poised to become a restricted free agent next week.
Knicks team president Phil Jackson has indicated a willingness to trade the No. 4 pick, though Bledsoe would appear to be the most significant target yet to emerge. Still, it’s unclear what other assets, if any, New York would have to relinquish to acquire the Rich Paul client.
Bledsoe’s scoring output regressed slightly on the same 12.9 shots per game he saw last season. He put up 17.0 points in 2014/15 after notching 17.7 PPG in fewer minutes during 2013/14. Still, the 25-year-old bettered his assists, with 6.1 per game this year, and rebounds, with 5.2, again showing his versatility. Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby is moving into a reduced role with the club, though that shouldn’t have had too much of an effect on the team’s philosophy with GM Ryan McDonough still entrenched.