Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler will be traded to Suns in 3-team deal

The Phoenix Suns were quiet on the free agent rumor mill, but now we know they are working the phones on the trade front. General manager Ryan McDonough made his first big splash by agreeing to trade Jared Dudley to the Los Angeles Clippers in return for young point guard Eric Bledsoe and the $8 million, expiring contract of Caron Butler.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the blockbuster deal that centered around the Clippers and their wish to solidify their backcourt. Dudley will join Milwaukee Bucks free agent J.J. Redick in Los Angeles, and the Bucks will in turn receive two second-round draft picks.

According to Paul Coro, the Suns will send Milwaukee the 2014 second-round pick acquired from the Raptors in the Sebastian Telfair trade.

It’s hard to imagine the Suns getting a better deal out of Dudley. To receive one of the most coveted young point guards for a reserve, veteran swingman is impressive, though it does lead to the questions about where the Suns go from here.

Goran Dragic is the fan favorite and perhaps the only must-hold-onto piece of the puzzle. The Suns must find something to do with Kendall Marshall and Archie Goodwin’s Kentucky background as the second-best player on John Calipari’s team — and the lack of experience at the point guard spot — sure seems repetitive next to Bledsoe. Goodwin was overshadowed to a degree by Nerlens Noel. Bledsoe, likewise, played alongside John Wall with the Wildcats and has taken a few years to break in.

But again, it’s hard to complain when the Suns just upgraded in both talent and youth. They also gain more cap flexibility for next summer since Dudley’s contract — and Butler’s — will be off the books.’s David Aldridge reports that Phoenix won’t necessarily look to dump Dragic — and it’s probably believed throughout Suns fans that there’s not reason to.

In Bledsoe, the rebuilding Suns, with new general manager Ryan McDonough and coach Jeff Hornacek, would seem to be expressing dissatisfaction with Goran Dragic, who got a four-year, $30 million free agent deal from Phoenix last summer. Bringing in Bledsoe also does not bode well for last year’s first-round pick, guard Kendall Marshall.

Yet the Suns believe that Bledsoe and Dragic could play together next season, with Bledsoe spending some time off the ball at shooting guard.

Bledsoe is under contract through 2013-14 but is a restricted free agent come next summer.

The deal won’t go official until July 10, when teams can officially sign free agents. That’s because Redick is currently a free agent and must complete a sign-and-trade of a reported four-year, $27 million contract for the entire trade to go down.

Dudley has already thanked the Suns organization and some of the more competent members of past and present.

  • Russell Suns fan

    Get ready folks the Suns are going to collect as many young chips as possible this year to trade for additional 1st round draft picks. Phx will be bad this year which puts them in the running for the two franchise type players Wiggins/Parker coming in next years draft.

    Suns also have the T’wolves pick which is top 12 or 13 protected so Phx might end up with the 1st/2nd/3rd pick in the 2014 draft plus the 15th pick for Minny and they will have Bledsoe/Marshall/Dragic/Gortat available to land additional 1st rounders.

    Is it possible that the Suns land 2 top 5 picks in next year draft?

  • Russell Suns fan

    BTW I meant the suns might end up with either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd pick…with the pick that they own for their own record.

  • Majestic One

    I like the idea of Dragic playing the 2 now with eric running the point. Hopefully we can package Butler for a 2014 first rounder.

  • scott L

    Yes!!! This is a great move by McD. Bledsoe is a really good up and coming PG who is perfect for the up tempo run and gun style of play, and the fact he’s spent a couple years behind Chris Paul is awesome. He’ll also be a great guy for Archie Goodwin to learn from because they have almost exactly the same situations and while Archie is more of a 2 guard they have similar up tempo playing styles.

    I was hoping they’d trade for Bledsoe but I thought it would cost way more than Dudley, this is an outstanding deal by McD.

  • Suns Fan In Portland

    Wow good job McD!

  • Foreveris2long

    McD this was a great deal. Bledsoe is definitely one of the promising under 25 years old point guards in the league. I have no idea where the other shoe will fall between Dragic and Marshall but this is another big step in the right direction by the Suns.

  • Ty-Sun

    I’m almost speechless. The Suns get Bledsoe and Butler for Dudley and a 2nd round pick?!? Butler really isn’t a prize but he’s a solid 3 AND he’s on an expiring contract.

    Bledsoe and Dragic playing together sounds like a great idea. Two PGs who can dish or score depending on the defensive match-ups. Dragic will probably start as the 2 guard but I’m sure that – if the Suns are smart – they will count on him to play a Harden-like role in the offense… part SG, part PG. I just hope Dragic is okay with that idea. I’m certain he can excel in that role but I have no idea whether he will accept it.

    Butler isn’t much of an upgrade over Dudley but he is an upgrade and on an expiring contract it’s a good deal.

    The Suns’ chance for landing the #1 pick in next year’s draft just went down and I’m sure a lot of people are going to hate that.

    As it stands right now, the Suns starting 5 should be:

    1 – Bledsoe
    2 – Dragic
    3 – Butler
    4 – Scola
    5 – Gortat

    Not a super team but already much improved over last season. And after this surprise trade, I won’t be too shocked if McD pulls off another one.

  • Robert

    Torn on this one. I know we lose ping pong balls but 10 teams will be tanking next year, so the Suns shoudl just sit around and do nothing. Gonna miss Duds, he was a great Sun. Does this mess with Dragic’s psych?

  • Red

    I’m not sure about this trade. Bledsoe is pretty decent, so I can see that part, but we do have Dragic. I don’t really see either as an SG, although they can play a few minutes if needed.

    Caron was pretty damn awesome, but he’s on the decline – so I don’t really see him contribute too much. Having said that, you get two decent players for one (Dudz) – but Phoenix now needs to drop one more player – who will that be?

    But, you have Dragic and Bledsoe who’ll probably both want to start and where does this leave Marshall?

  • Jz

    I am going to miss Dudley. Time to move. McD should flip Caron Butler and Kendall Marshall to Indiana for Granger.

  • Azbballfan


    The Suns have vastly improved their teams talent and finances without jeopardizing next years lotto pick

    Bledsoe, Dragic, and Gortat cant just will this team to the 8th seed

    I expect another trade comming in the next few weeks

    This is a perfect trade for everyone involved

    The Bucks get capspace and 2nd round picks, the clippers get who they want and we get even more FA money for next year

    Bledsoe can play both positions and so can dragic and Goodwin can be the 6th man some day and play with either one

    this was a great trade i am glad the Suns did this instead of blowing free agent money

    Now we gotta figure out who else is going to get Traded

    I would love to ship out Gortat to Portland for a future 1st and Meyers Leonard

    I would bet Marshall is done as a Sun unless something else happens

    We now have Dragic, Bledsoe, malcolm lee, shannon bronw and him and Goodwin?

    thats too many PGs and i doubt we move Dragic or Bledsoe or Goodwin

  • Suns Fan in PDX

    From ESPN :

    A source said the Suns plan to play Bledsoe alongside 27-year-old point guard Goran Dragic. Bledsoe is eligible to sign a contract extension between now and Halloween…

    There’s no reason we can’t still get a chance at the lottery next year. I loved Duds too, but anytime a rebuilding team can acquire (highly coveted) young talent for such little cost, it’s a win. We can take on any contracts too, as long as they expire in two years or less, no prob.

  • A24

    Phoenix did very well in collecting 2 valuable assets while giving up Dudley and an 2nd rounder. Caron can still contribute but his real value is being an expiring contract that will be eventually packaged in a deal for future pick(s). Dragic and Bledsoe probably have comparable trade value with the difference being Dragic got a reasonable contract last year and Bledsoe will get his contract/extension in the near future.

  • Steve

    Wow. The Suns made out like bandits here. They turned Jared Dudley into Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler!

    Unreal. Kudos to the PHX organization.

  • MidnightSun

    Yea, I think McD is going to work out just fine right?…He also seems to be a man of his word since when I look at this trade.It stays pretty consistent with his statements on wanting to get Dragic some help with moving the ball.

    This team has been completely devoid of guys who are adept at moving the ball since it’s complete reliance on Steve Nash to do everything with it. I strongly doubt McD is going to actively shop Goran just because he has a whole two players that have ball handling skills now. This should mean Dragic or Bledso plays off the ball in the way Del Negro played him and Jamal Crawford together and worked out pretty nice.

  • Foreveris2long

    Oh we are still a lottery ream with this trade we will just be a little more exciting of a lottery team with some young guns under 25 making an impression.Bledsoe shot 44% from the field last season and I suspect with this being a contract year and working with Hornachek he will improve on that. I like his defense a lot as well.

  • Steve

    SO, the Suns got Bledsoe and Butler for Dudley and a 2nd rd pick? They win this trade easily.

  • Azman2003

    I like this trade as long as it is the first of a couple…which I think it is. Getting Bledsoe is a good move, and I think he and Len make pretty decent pieces to put along our draft pick next year. That is the key…we don’t nessescarily have to get the #1 pick. Wiggins would be incredible..and no one will trade out of the #1 spot…but if we can acquire enough picks to MAKE SURE we have the ammo to trade into the top 3, then we can get Parker or Brown.

    Id like to see Gortat moved, and if they have to move Dragic than so be it. Move some pieces to get us another potential top 10 pick.

    We then go into next year with our own pick (top 5), another pick acquired in trade (top 10), and the Wolves pick (top 15).

  • Mel.

    I seriously did a double-take when I read this headline at ESPN: first read naturally concluding that it was US who took two second-round picks for Dudley.

    Shows how shocking this level of competency is for the fans, at this point: “we actually came out on TOP of a deal?! It’s gotta be a poison-pill contract, right? Or his leg’s falling off? Or we’re readying the guy for a turnaround trade for Marcus Camby and Juwon Howard?”

    Also really, REALLY happy for Dudley. Rivers and Gentry are going to make sure the kid gets some quality utility minutes, and with Hill and Barnes gone, they’ll need someone with his stretch and skill set.

  • Ty-Sun

    Marshall isn’t on the trading block just yet but the Morris twins probably are. Bledsoe and Dragic will probably play together and the Suns will still need Marshall as a backup PG.

    Beasley is probably impossible to trade so at least one of the Morris twins is probably one the trade block as is Scola.

    I’m afraid to even say it but after this trade, the Suns might actually have a shot at landing a FA or making another trade that could turn the Suns around faster than many of us expected. As long as they don’t trade away the team’s future to make the 8th seed in next year’s playoffs, I’m all for it.

  • A24

    oh, and Bledsoe’s nickname? mini-lebron!!

  • KidBuxton

    I think it’s great. Bledsoe is the kind of player still developing, he won’t help us win many more games next year which is awesome as we need to be realistic and get a good pick in the draft. He’ll still put on a show with Dragon though. Looking at Kyrie last season, the cavs sucked but he provided a lot of excitement for them. That’s what I’m hoping Eric does.

    J Dud did a lot for the Suns, so thanks for that. Marshall needs to get off twitter and focus more in my opinion.

  • Jeff From Jersey

    great trade, and we still have valuable veterans such as gortat, scola, and butler to offer up to contenders at the deadline for additional picks and talent

  • Richie

    This is a great trade. I wouldn’t trade marshall. Start goran at the 1 , bledsoe at the 2.
    The marshall as the backup 1 and goodwin as the backup 2. I’d try and trade scola and gortat

  • Scott

    That’s an amazing trade. Wow!

    But I don’t know if McD is done yet. It could be that one or both of these newly acquired players could be on the move for other assets.

    I’m happy to have Butler on the team, as I’ve liked him since he came into the league.

    Bledsoe … it would be good to keep him, but he’s highly sought after.

    As for Dudley … as they say, he’s going to a better place. He’ll be closer to home, with veteran players, and he’ll be on a winning squad that needs his talents and energy. We’ll miss him, but we knew something like this was coming as part of the rebuild.

    With Bledsoe, the Suns now have four players with above average PER: Bledsoe (17.6), Dragic (17.52), Scola (16.8), and Gortat (15.54).

    If Bledsoe plays PG opposite Gortat at C, it could be that the pick and roll between these two will work much better than it was for Gortat last season.

    Also, in Bledsoe the Suns finally have a guard to partner with Dragic who matches him in energy and intensity. (Hopefully Goodwin catches this same vibe.)

  • Shane

    I’m thinking there’s more trading in the works, maybe even flipping Bledsoe and a bad contract (Beasley?) in a trade for a quality SG or SF.

  • bk

    Butler is making 8M, Bledsoe is making 2.6M
    Dudey is making 4.25M
    So, it is a payroll increase of roughly 6.35M. It means tat the team has no cap space room to sign a FA. The roster is also full at 15 now without signing the 2nd round pick Alex Oriahki.

    At 6’1″ Bledsoe is an undersize PG and can be only used as PG.

  • Scott

    @bk -

    Especially with the acquisition of another guard (Bledsoe), it seems likely to me that Lee will either be moved or bought out.

    PG: Bledsoe, Marshall, Goodwin
    SG: Dragic, Brown, Tucker, Lee?

    SF: Butler, Marcus, Beasley
    PF: Scola, Frye, Markieff
    C: Gortat, Len, Oriakhi?

  • Suns Fan in PDX

    Actually Bledsoe played the 2 quite a bit this year. He’s really strong, he can play along with the Dragon. Also, the contract is expiring. I don’t think we really need to sign any free agents this year anyway.

    ha ha me too. I did a double take and clicked on the article assuming we got a second round pick and Mini LeBron went to Milwaukee…

  • Suns Fan in PDX

    When was the last time teh Suns got the good end of a trade… I can’t even remember, wow.

  • Azbballfan

    The Suns can stay under the cap, and thus eligible for amnesty players if they wanted to, just by cutting Beasley and stretching his contract over 3 years

    i think it would cost them 2 million a year for 3 years

    I think getting rid of Beasley is the next logical step, unless there is some miraculous turn around by him

    trading players for picks would also take salary off our hands as well

    Take the Morris twins and package them to Charlotte for a future pick

    for example

    We still have lots of flexibility to do moves this season if we choose to

  • east coast

    If we want a top 3 pick next spring, why would we get rid of Beasley? He pretty much guarantees it :b

  • Elviro (Italy)

    good trade … we have a little bit of traffic in the role of guard but good trade … look forward to the next steps of McD!

  • john

    Excellent trade for both teams. I think each team gets something they desperately needed. I’m excited about the prospects of Dragic and Bledsoe. At the very least, it allows the Suns some more trade flexibility if they decide to dangle either of them.

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  • Jon

    Wow I guess I am saying this now that I have seen Bledsoe, but I am glad we have him! I am sad that we had to send Dudley though… He is a great player, I’ll never forget him tieing up Lamar Odom and then instead of trying to win him at a jump ball he just ran after the tipped ball, lol. Classic Dud he isn’t more athletic than you he is just a lot smarter than you.