Suns Shut Down Eric Bledsoe For Season

It appears that Eric Bledsoe has played his last game of the 2016/17 season. The Suns held Bledsoe out of their lineup on Wednesday night, and according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, the team intends to shut down him down for the season. Doug Haller of AZCentral (Twitter link) confirms as much, noting that the point guard has been battling knee soreness.

While Bledsoe’s knee issue may have played some part in the Suns’ decision, the club’s record almost certainly played a larger part. As our 2016/17 Reverse Standings show, Phoenix currently has the NBA’s third-worst record at 22-46. A few extra wins down the stretch would put the Suns at risk of passing the Magic and Sixers in the standings, reducing their odds of landing a top draft pick.

The Suns are the second Pacific team in the league’s bottom three to shut down veterans for the season. Earlier this week, reports indicated that Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng likely won’t play again for the Lakers in 2016/17, despite the fact that they’re healthy.

Of course, Mozgov and Deng haven’t produced at nearly the same level for the Lakers that Bledsoe has for the Suns this season. The seventh-year point guard has established new career highs in several categories this season, including PPG (21.1) and APG (6.3). Without him in their lineup, the Suns figure to lean more heavily on rookie guard Tyler Ulis, among others.

Brandon Knight, another veteran who had apparently been shut down by the Suns in recent weeks, could also see some minutes in Bledsoe’s absence, though there are hints that he hasn’t been thrilled by the way the team has handled his role. According to Gambadoro, the Suns asked Knight to play on Wednesday night and he told the team he was suffering from back spasms — Gambadoro expressed some skepticism regarding that self-diagnosis.

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11 thoughts on “Suns Shut Down Eric Bledsoe For Season

  1. When will these teams learn that tanking doesn’t help. You could have the first pick the 6th pick 12th pick and windup with the best player of the three period. it’s all about scouting you could have the 26th pick and get a superstar you can have the third pick and get a super dud. Just try to win every game and be legitimate …..tanking doesn’t work.

    • yanksknicks

      Yea but you have higher odds of landing a star with a better pick. If you know you are going nowhere might as well try

  2. If you have a GM like Chris Mullin picking for the Warriors and get the 6th through 12th pick every year because you tanked and miss the playoffs because you didn’t want the 8th seed, you wind up with guys like

    Ike Diaguo Patrick O’Bryant Todd Fuller Jiri Welsh Michael Pietrius…… Mostly Duds. Bad scouting.

    Or the Kings Thomas Robinson Bobby Hurley Jimmer Fredette. Picked ahead of guys that are all stars. Damian Lillard Klay Thompson.

    Just learn how to Scout or hire good ones in the first place. Then try to win and you’ll be fine. Look at the Spurs, xlnt picks in late first round second round for years and years and years.

  3. The Lakers have had the top two picks in the last two years (russell and ingraham) and look how great they are this year. People say, oh, they’re two, three years away. Well if I have the 11th pick and the 18th pick I’ll be two or three years away also but winning more than 21 games.

    Tanking doesn’t work. I really don’t think it’s worth it. Just be as good as you can every year and then pick where you pick. It’s really the moves you make in the draft Plus your other front office decisions hiring a coach free agent signings etc….. scouting.

    • Assuming you play as good as you can and the others are tanking, you will get the 9th position in your conference. Then you will get 16th-18th pick. Turns out the current stars has been picked at:
      Curry: 7th
      Kahwi: 15th (so close huh)
      Westbrook: 4th
      James: 1st
      Durant: 2nd
      Harden: 3rd

      So you wish for Isiah Thomas right?

      Then you tried your best with your veterans, how can your young players develop? Via garbage times and injuries I guess?

  4. hill

    Tanking has other benefits like protecting guys like Bledsoe from injuries. Bledsoe will be PHX biggest trade chip in the offseason and they don’t want to risk damaging a valuable asset for literally zero return. There is zero economic incentive to keep playing him.

    And of course they get to trial young players. Which seems to be working very well in PHX with the emergence of Ulis and Williams in particular.

    There’s literally no downside to sitting Bledsoe.

  5. azentropy

    As a Suns fan this is a good move. Don’t need the wins and no reason to risk any injuries for the future either with the Suns or for trade value.

    However as a Fantasy owner this is heartbreaking and probably the final nail in the coffin.

  6. Those guys are stars sure. But they’re not winning championships by themselves.

    Ownership management has to do a good job with the rest of the roster drafting at 15 drafting at 24, free agents, trades.

    Any knucklehead can pick LeBron James number one. And half those guys are on different teams than those who drafted them.

    So I’ll let you tank you draft the star and I’ll get him later. Good luck with your fan base and attendance.

    Let’s look at the teams tanking this year. The Sixers who have been terrible for a while with all their top picks the Lakers have been bad for 6 years the Suns when’s the last time they made the playoffs and they let Isaiah Thomas go. Great player All Star bad management…. Brandon Knight big contract instead, great choice. Sacramento Kings? Great draft picks for 30 years and they were good for maybe five in the early 2000s.

    My point is Scout well have good management and coaching and ownership make good roster decisions and try to win every game every year. Just my opinion.

    So many people think they can Cruise and then turn it on when necessary or they deem necessary. It’s not that easy that’s why you practice and develop winning habits that translate to the game. You think you can turn it on mid-season or turn it on in the fourth quarter just doesn’t work that way.

  7. Beer_man

    Truth hurts but true.. Kings fan… The Draft is coming up and expecting our picks will be made by ownership not by the GM or scouts if we have any. I’m at the edge of my seat expecting the worst. Management sucks at drafting . They never pick what the fans want. But to my surprise they did get Demarcus Cousins who I wanted at the time. I felt he was the best talent on the boards at #5. Sigh…

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