Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler officially acquired by Suns

The free agency moratorium ended on Wednesday and the Phoenix Suns officially announced the trade that sent Jared Dudley to the Los Angeles Clippers in return for point guard Eric Bledsoe and forward Caron Butler. Phoenix also lost a second-round pick that went to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby released the following in a statement:

“The addition of a very dynamic young player in Eric Bledsoe and an All-Star veteran in Caron Butler is very exciting for the Suns,” Babby said. “At the same time, we thank Jared Dudley, a consummate professional in every respect. He takes our best wishes with him to the Clippers.”

“We are thrilled to add Eric and Caron to the Phoenix Suns,” added Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “They were both key parts of the Clippers team that set a franchise record for wins last season and we are excited to add their athleticism, shooting and leadership to our organization.”

  • Scott

    Looking forward to the start of SL. :)

    Marshall is going to have to do his utmost to score and set up the offense. If he plays opposite Goodwin at all, he needs to do everything he can to set him up to score. I don’t know everybody who is on the SL team, but Goodwin is a guy who is hungry to score and will do so when given a good opportunity. Marshall needs to find him in transition.

    As for the twins, IMO what would really help them out would be if they can successfully rain 3s. They have good size to push people around in SL and play around the rim, but I’m not impressed with that, as teams are usually bigger and stronger in the NBA and that skill won’t translate as well. But if they can hit their 3s, that will give everybody better spacing, and they’ll be a lot more valuable to have on the floor during the regular season.

  • Foreveris2long

    In my mind the twins, need to find a way to score in the paint like Carl Landry who also is undersized. This team needs low post scoring the worst way. They cannot help much on the offensive glass shooting 3 pointers. I think they will both be gone by next summer so I am not sure management expects much out of them this summer.

  • Scott

    @forever -

    While it would be helpful if the twins could score in the paint, as I see it, it’s meaningless for them to do it in summer league. Last year folks raved over Markieff “beasting” inside in SL, but I wasn’t impressed as I didn’t think it would translate to regular season play, and … it didn’t.

    I think it’s more important for those guys to show they can be reliable outside threats. That will open up the inside for everyone on the team, including themselves.

    I’m encouraged that this may happen by Markieff starting to hit his 3s as the season ended last year. I think it’s largely a confidence issue, that and feeling permitted to take the shot. Markieff shot 65% from 3 in the final month, and in decent volume, whereas he shot 23% – and sparingly – in the prior month. I’m not saying he should become a perimeter shooting specialist and abandon the inside game, but IMO being able to play inside-out is ideal.

    By contrast, Marcus Morris was shooting better from 3 earlier in the season, when he played with Houston. He shot 40%, 40%, 37%, and 36% in the first 4 months. After he came to the Suns it quickly went away, and in the final month he shot a miserable 20% from 3. So we never really saw him be as potent from 3 as he could be.

  • foreveris2long

    I know I wasn’t one them boasting about Markieff beasting in the paint. In fact D’Breasy and I complained all summer he spent too much time on the perimeter instead of working on his low post game. I doubt either one of us were surprised that he did not improve this past season. With that said this guy probably will not be on the Suns this time next year as he was another wasted pick.

  • ShanMan

    I think Markeiff can be a good backup PF moving forward for this team. He’s basically the new Channing Frye. Marcus could also be a decent backup SF moving forward. I don’t see either of them any more than that though. I don’t think we will really know what the structure is going to actually be for this team’s future until after the 2014 draft.

  • ShanMan

    While I am vey excited the Suns basically stole Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers, and also got Caron Butler as a bonus, I’m worried what the implications are for Dragic. Some may have not noticed, but for the last few months of the season, Dragic’s numbers were incredible. Especially being able to rack up assists with such a weak team around him. This was the year I felt Dragic was really going to come into his own as a top point guard. Seems like Bledsoe is the guy the Suns want for the future. I realize they can play together in the backcourt, but that doesn’t seem like a way to go to win a championship. Sounds like the GS Warriors to me when they ran Curry and Ellis. Could be fun to watch, but honestly if Dragic can put up numbers like that all season, I’d look to move Bledsoe for a true SG or true PF. And if Dragic shows that was just a fluke, then do the same thing with Dragic and keep Bledsoe. I just don’t see a point in the future where that backcourt equates to a contender. I see that being no more than a high scoring first round knockout team.

  • Scott

    FWIW, I noticed in the SL roster that they have Markieff listed as C and Oriakhi listed as F.

    Shouldn’t that be the other way around?

    Oriakhi is a quarter of an inch taller, is either 3 lbs lighter or up to 17 lbs heavier (depending on which listed weight is real), and has a 5″ longer wingspan. Furthermore, Oriakhi has less lateral quickness plus an around the basket game, and played C in college, while Markieff has been playing PF in the NBA the last 2 years, can shoot all the way out to 3, and projects to continue to do so.

    Now, I can understand having players play outside their natural position in order to gain new skills. But this seems odd to me. Markieff is going to play PF in the NBA, and he should be working on that role. Oriakhi, if he sticks, would be better off focusing on the center role, and trying to play it as well as other undersized NBA centers, like DeJuan Blair, Hickson, and Chuck Hayes.

    Or … maybe Hornacek is thinking of playing Markieff at C?

    Or … maybe the SL roster positions mean nothing?

    Or …?

    I guess in a few more days we’ll see what roles they play. The first game is on Saturday, at 5:30PM in Las Vegas, broadcast at 10PM on NBA TV.

    (Saturday is a full day of games on NBA TV, BTW.)

  • DBreezy

    The Morris twins seem to have so much to work on. They really haven’t delivered on any of they predraft projections. While they weren’t projected to have ceilings as high as some others in that draft, they were supposed to solid right away, mature, and tough. At a minimum I expected Kieff to be a strong rebounder, tough (if undersized) defender, and a guy who finished open opportunities inside or out. He’s really been none of those things, shooting a poor percentage even with Nash around, rebounding worse than Frye, and not being much of a defender unless Derrick Williams is on the floor.

    Marcus was supposed to be the more advanced offensive player, but that hasn’t shown itself and his attitude flare up with Hunter makes me wonder if that had something to do with him spending most of last season in the D league. This is a big summer for them to at least show that they can be consistent in one area. Their 4th year options have to be in question in a league that really incentivizes cap flexibility these days.

  • Marc chacon

    Holy shit we got Caron Butler?!?!?!?!? I smell championship this year!!!!!!

  • Scott

    @DBreezy -

    Just to clarify … Marcus Morris spent much of his first season in the D-League, being deep on the Houston bench and a rookie. His 2nd year (last season) he played in 77 games. He played better in Houston than he did after coming to Phoenix.

    In Houston last season, Marcus scored in double figures in 24 games. Eight of those games were 15 pts or more. His top 3 scores while in Houston were 19, 21, and 24.

    In Phoenix, he scored in double figures 6 times, and only 2 of those were 15 pts or above. In both of those games he scored 16 points.

    While in Houston, he shot 40%, 40%, and 37% each month from 3. In those 3 months he attempted 47, 54, and 63 3-pt shots. In 3 games he attempted 7 3-pt shots, and in 6 games he attempted 6 3-pt shots. So he wasn’t shy, and clearly his coach gave him the green light to shoot 3s based upon his demonstrated accuracy.

    Once Marcus came to Phoenix, though, his shooting was restricted. He shot 5 3-pt shots on only 2 occasions, and in most games shot only 1 to 3 3-pt shots. His accuracy dropped from 33% in his first month, to 20% in his final month.

    If I was to guess what was going on, first, I’d have to say he started to get slightly fewer minutes. Evidently he either didn’t have permission to shoot as many 3s, or the defense he was facing didn’t allow him to shoot as many. Things may have snowballed from there. Consequently, it looks like he lost confidence in his shot, lost his rhythm, or something.

    Also, it’s possible that in his first full year playing in the NBA he began to run into the “rookie wall.”

  • Scott

    Let me add that in his first full month in Phoenix, March, Marcus shot only 24 3-pt shots.

  • Ty-Sun

    It’s going to be interesting to see what Horny and the new coaching staff can do with all the younger players. I don’t think that the Suns coaching staff was was ever really focused on developing young players before and there may be more potential in some of the Suns’ younger players that can be brought out with the right approach. I hope so.

    I was reading something the other day that said that Tucker asked to be on the SL team to get an early start working with Horny and the new coaching staff. You have to love his commitment and work ethic!

  • Ty-Sun

    About Bledsoe and Butler…

    I doubt that bringing in Bledsoe means that the Suns are giving up on Dragic. I think the McD saw the chance to bring in a quality player – that other teams also wanted – without giving up too much so he jumped on it. Depending on how this season goes, I wouldn’t doubt Bledsoe or Dragic being traded at the trade deadline or during the next off-season. But by bringing in Bledsoe, McD gave the Suns two very good PGs which gives them the option to trade one of them later on for another very good player that hopefully will fill a more pressing need.

    No one talks much about Butler but he is a two-time all-star player when he was with the Wizards (2007 & 2008). He’s had injury problems in the past but stayed relatively healthy in the two years he played with the Clippers. I really don’t think that he was a good fit with the Clippers. I think most people look at him as only an expiring contract but with the Suns he could be a good veteran influence and a fairly good “go-to” guy this season for the Suns if he can stay healthy. I say that because he is a vet and at least he should be more comfortable when put in that position than a lot of the younger players. At 33 his best days are obviously behind him but I think he still has something to contribute to the Suns. And even if he doesn’t work out, he’s still on an expiring contract.

  • Foreveris2long

    I love Tucker as a player and think every team should have a guy like him. I am glad he is enthused about playing in the SL and improving his skill set. If he is guarding you, you better have your hard hat and lunch pale because it will be a long day. I suspect him and Archie G will go at it pretty good in practice.

  • Scott

    @Ty-Sun -

    FWIW, I always liked Caron Butler, but I’m not too enthused about any veterans the Suns take on this year as I see it as a rebuilding year.

    So I’ll enjoy seeing Butler suit up for the Suns, but I’m still hoping the Suns end up deep in the lottery and that they get more quality young players.

    And if they can trade Butler for young talent, I’m generally in favor of it.

  • Richie

    Eric Bledsoe won’t stay in phoenis past this year. I just can’t see him siging an exstention.

  • Azbballfan

    if he doesnt sign an extension we can trade him for an assett and keep dragic

    no big deal, even if it ends up that way, turning dudley into bledsoe was a great move

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  • Ty-Sun

    @Scott – I like the addition of Butler mostly because I think he will be a good influence on the younger players. Butler is a smart player that know when to take on the “alpha dog” role and when to back off and let others take that role.

    One of the worst problems the Suns had last year was that they counted on Beasley to be the alpha dog early in the season and then seemed to have no idea who should take on that role after Beasley crashed and burned. Scola could have taken on that role but I think he didn’t because he didn’t want to be on the team anymore by that time. Gortat wanted that role but wasn’t good enough to take it. By the end of the season I think Dragic was starting to become comfortable in that role but didn’t really want it early on.

    Butler has been around long enough that I think he can handle the pressure of being the Suns “go-to guy” even on a bad team. That should help take the pressure off some of the younger players. Even though Butler was injured and unable to play in the 2011 playoffs, he does have an NBA championship ring for being a member of the Mavs team that won it all that year… and he was the Mavs starting SF until injury cut his season short.

    I’m just saying that Butler could be a very good veteran influence on this team this year that could help some of the younger players grow and improve.

    He isn’t part of the Suns future but he could help shape it.

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