Suns Trade Eric Bledsoe To Bucks

The Suns and Bucks have finalized a trade that sends Eric Bledsoe to Milwaukee in exchange for Greg Monroe, a 2018 first-round pick, and a 2018 second-round pick. Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN first reported the deal, which has now been officially confirmed by both the Suns and Bucks.NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns

Bledsoe had been publicly on the trade block since the first weekend of the season, when he published a tweet that read “I don’t wanna be here” after the Suns lost their first three games. The veteran point guard had previously – and privately – expressed a desire to be traded, and Phoenix had explored potential deals at that time. However, Bledsoe’s tweet forced the issue, and the team responded by sending him home and pursuing deals more aggressively.

Bledsoe, who will turn 28 next month, is coming off a career year for the Suns in 2016/17. He recorded 21.1 PPG, 6.3 APG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.4 SPG in 66 contests (all starts) before the team shut him down as part of its tanking effort down the stretch. The Suns’ handling of Bledsoe at the end of the season is likely one reason why the former first-round pick wasn’t thrilled with his situation this year.

As trade rumors swirled around Bledsoe, the Bucks were frequently cited as a potential suitor, with Milwaukee and Denver viewed as the most likely landing spots for the disgruntled point guard. So far this season, Malcolm Brogdon has been playing regular minutes at the point guard spot for the Bucks, with Matthew Dellavedova getting the backup minutes and Giannis Antetokounmpo also assuming some ball-handling duties in a point forward role. With Bledsoe entering the mix, Brogdon may begin to see more action at the two.

From an on-court perspective, Monroe doesn’t seem like a fit in Phoenix, considering the team’s frontcourt is already pretty crowded. Alex Len and Tyson Chandler are the Suns’ current centers, though Chandler is a trade candidate. Even if the club hangs onto Chandler, the unbalanced roster isn’t a major issue, since the Suns aren’t in win-now mode. It will be more interesting to see if the Bucks’ frontcourt holds up without Monroe, who played well last season. Milwaukee has been leaning more heavily on John Henson, Mirza Teletovic, and Thon Maker while Monroe has been sidelined with a calf injury.

Monroe is earning $17,884,176 this season and is in the final year of his contract, while Bledsoe is making $14.5MM and has one additional year left at $15MM. The deal will reduce Milwaukee’s team salary by more than $3MM, moving the club comfortably away from the luxury tax threshold. The Bucks will also get a trade exception worth $3,384,176.

However, the team now has about $106MM on its books for 2018/19, without taking into account a qualifying offer or a new contract for Jabari Parker, who will be a restricted free agent. If the Bucks hope to re-sign Parker, they may need to move another contract to avoid becoming a taxpayer.

As for the Suns, they won’t mind taking on a little extra money in the swap, since they still have a significant chunk of cap room. The deal should get their team salary above the required floor for 2017/18, and by trading Bledsoe for Monroe, the Suns also remove $15MM in guaranteed salary from their books for 2018/19, increasing their flexibility to make moves next summer.

Finally, the two draft picks included in the deal include some unusual protections. As first reported by Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link), the second-rounder is top-47 protected. If the second-rounder doesn’t change hands in 2018, it appears the Bucks’ obligation relating to that pick would be extinguished.

As for the first-rounder, the Suns have confirmed the details initially reported by John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter links), who describes the protection on that pick as follows:

  • Suns receive pick in 2018 it falls between Nos. 11 and 16.
  • If Suns don’t receive 2018 pick, they’ll receive pick in 2019 if it falls between Nos. 4 and 16.
  • If Suns don’t receive 2019 pick, they’ll receive 2020 pick (top-7 protected).
  • If Suns still haven’t received pick after 2020, they’ll receive unprotected 2021 pick.

In addition to potentially landing Milwaukee’s pick in 2018, Phoenix will have its own first-rounder and Miami’s (top-seven protected) for next year’s draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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44 thoughts on “Suns Trade Eric Bledsoe To Bucks

  1. TheMissing18thBanner

    If the Bucks gave up Brogdon they gave up too much

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    • bdpecore

      It sounds like Monroe and a 1st are heading back to Phoenix.

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  2. acarneglia

    I could see something like Bledsoe and Chandler for Teletovic, Monroe and a 1st

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      • dustin daugherty 824

        watch out bucks! bledsoe, Middleton, Gianni’s, Parker, Henson, Brogdon… now why would the sun’s take Monroe like dont they already have alot of Power forward and Centers??

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        • hiflew

          Maybe Monroe was the best they could do. They can always trade someone else later with a lot more leverage than they had with Bledsoe.

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        • DarkGhost

          Monroe’s contract makes the most sense for the money and it’s over after this year. The suns are saving about 12mil because Bledsoe still has another year on his contract after this year. It also makes sense since the rumored plan has been that after this season the suns will have enough money for two max contract players so they can try to lure a duo of stars to PHX. The. They are also getting two draft picks.

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  3. Remember when people were suggesting that the Brooklyn pick had to be included in a Bledsoe-to the-Cavs deal? This is a pretty underwhelming return since Monroe doesn’t have an obvious fit and the first rounder is likely to be a late first round pick.

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    • DarkGhost

      That Brooklyn pick is being way over valued. At this point it’s not even a top pick in the draft. Trading the 10th pick for a starting PG that averaged 21-5-6 is not that unreasonable.

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      • It’s not, but when Bledsoe’s current trade value is Monroe plus two heavily protected picks, the 10th pick shouldn’t come close to being involved. Considering Monroe is in there for salary purposes, the Cavs’ equivalent would be one of Shumpert/Smith/Frye, and if Monroe plus protected picks gets Bledsoe, I don’t see how Bledsoe would warrant one of those three plus the Brooklyn pick (which is likely to be more valuable than any pick Milwaukee sends).

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  4. Dionis

    Suns win this trade, the 2018 draft is absolutely stacked. Phoenix might be able to draft Duval,Bamba, and possibly Bridges. They have their pick, Miami”s pick which is 1-7, and now the first from Milwaukee. Phoenix is COMING.

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    • GoPack2017

      How have they done with recent top picks in drafts? I’ll wait..Chriss and Bender don’t even get playing time..

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      • DarkGhost

        In 2015 they drafted Devin Booker, that’s worked out pretty well. They drafted Jackson this year which everybody and there mother would have done after he fell to 4. As far as Chriss and Bender they’re both still teenagers for crying out loud. Why don’t we give them 3-4 years before we make judgments on what they are or aren’t.

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        • beany_boy

          Chriss might be an NBA player. Phoenix will have to decide wether they want to continue to pay him. Bender will be out of the league within the next two years.

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          • Matt M

            This is wrong. Bender will be an excellent NBA player. He was the youngest player in the NBA last year and still only 13 guys younger than him. For every Garnett, Kobe, and LeBron there are more young guys that take a few years especially bigs. He is playing very well for his age.

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        • GoPack2017

          My entire argument was based on the fact that the suns have bigs they don’t play. Adding Monroe to the mix will only hurt the already limited playing time they are giving Chriss and Bender. Not to mention guys like Jackson and Chandler are still on their roster. They going to play big in an era of small ball? Come on now..

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      • Matt M

        Bender was the youngest player in the NBA last year and is still one of the youngest. The both play a decent amount of minutes

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    • beany_boy

      The Miami Pick is protected 1-7. Depending how Miami does it will probably be somewhere in the middle of the round.

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  5. formerlyz

    Terrible trade by Phoenix in terms of value, and fit. They were never getting anything crazy, but you at least need to get a young player/asset, and I could have seen other iterations of a deal between these teams, but definitely a good deal for Milwaukee. They do lose some half court scoring and rebounding, but they have multiple lineups where they can put much better defense, and more dynamic offense out there now, and this is too good of a deal to pass up, in my opinion.

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    • beany_boy

      Agreed. You can stir this up any way you like but the Suns got a late 1st round pick and a player they can’t wait to cut. Hardly a good return for a player like Bledsoe.

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  6. Corleone

    Good Job Suns !!!

    Suns have now 3 First Round Picks next year and Monroes contract is in The final year pretty good Move. Suns need a Little Bit luck and pick Ayton And Docič

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    • Connorsoxfan

      How can you be happy with this after suggesting Bledsoe and Chandler for George, Cousins, Butler, and every other notable player in the universe?? A late first and expiring Greg Monroe isn’t even close to that.

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    • beany_boy

      Yeah right. Coming from the guy who called Anthony Bennett a “good pickup” lol.

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  7. x%sure

    That trade was: boring.

    The REAL story is the ridiculous protections. This crap has to be reeled in by the commissioner.
    I think both teams are a bit embarrassed by the deal and want to discourage scrutiny.
    I doubt anyone here tried to get a handle on the insane draft protections.

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    • Why does it have to be reeled in? If both parties agree to a deal, then why can’t it be done. The last thing the NBA needs is for Adam Silver to be veto’ing trades because it might be lopsided or the protections are ridiculous (which I agree, the protections in this deal are a bit over the top). If both teams agree to a trade, and as long as the trade works for the cap and roster, then I don’t see why any trade should be mandated by the league office. And why would Milwaukee be embarassed? That they basically robbed Bledsoe off the Suns?

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      • x%sure

        Bucks gave up a first (I think) for basically depth. They have done well with their middling picks and would paying one a quarter of what they’ll be paying Bledsoe to be their second-best PG. Monroe was an expiring.
        The best thing for Milw. was that they basically got next year’s FA early. I suppose they “won”.
        But they showed their lack of confidence by inserting so many protections.

        It’s not just about two teams. It’s not the real world with real world rules. IRL you can’t treat people like property this way. The system needs to work for everyone and that much complexity is disdainful towards NBA customers who want to grasp what is going on. The list of protections reeks of institutional coverup, contempt and unmanliness.
        Didn’t you like to opin on who won the trade? It’s part of the game and should not be shrouded in mystery.

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  8. formerlyz

    I thought a deal like this would make sense: Bledsoe and 2018 Suns 2nd round pick for Dellavadova, Vaughn, DJ Wilson, and the Bucks 2020 1st round pick…considering the protections, it was a kind of similar deal

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    • formerlyz

      Obviously with less value for Phoenix, and the (useless) expiring contract

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      • Connorsoxfan

        Yeah I was surprised Phoenix couldn’t even get Vaughn to add another asset of some intrigue. Also, Milwaukee could use that roster spot better later on in the season to sign a rotation player to make a playoff run. Vaughn won’t likely be in the playoff rotation.

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        • x%sure

          Intrigue– that’s what this deal needed. I would rather Brogdon or GianA remain the pacesetter on the Bucks. The most intriguing thing is wondering who will scoop up Monroe after a buyout.

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  9. beany_boy

    Adrian Wojnarowski ✔ @wojespn
    Sources: First-round pick protection: 2018: Suns get Bucks pick between 11-to-16. 2019: 4-to-16. 2020: 8 to 30. 2021: Unprotected.

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    • beany_boy

      If I’m reading that right the Suns won’t be using that pick until 2020.

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      • formerlyz

        Its pretty much a remedial version of what they got for Dragic

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  10. Thronson5

    I wonder if the suns wave Monroe or Chandler. Can’t see them keeping both.

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    • Connorsoxfan

      Bucks got a good deal. Their first isn’t much and I liked Monroe, but Bledsoe is better.

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  11. beany_boy

    Adrian Wojnarowski
    Adrian Wojnarowski
    @wojespn
    No conversations yet on a Suns-Greg Monroe contract buyout, league sources tell ESPN. Suns will likely explore trade possibilities first, but it is unlikely partnership extends through end of the season. This is final year of Monroe’s deal.

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    • Connorsoxfan

      If Monroe gets bought out Boston might get a steal with their DPE.

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