Apr 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe (12) brings the ball up court during game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. Memphis won 104-83. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

2013-14 Season Player Profiles: Eric Bledsoe


 

Eric Bledsoe is coming out of the vast darkness…of Chris Paul’s shadow.

Bledsoe started at point guard for the Clippers in 2010-11. That was only Blake Griffin’s second year in the league and the team finished 32-50. Not really where you want to be.

Fortunately for owner Donald Sterling and the Clippers organization, NBA commissioner David Stern for “basketball reasons” vetoed a Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers trade, redirecting him to the other lockeroom in STAPLES Center to join the Clips. This changed the franchise. They went from 32-50 to 40-26 in Chris Paul’s first season that was lockout-shortened. The next year they went 56-26.

Because of the dominance of Chris “the point god” Paul, the league doesn’t really know what the actual potential of Bledsoe is in reality. What we do know is that Bledsoe is EXTREMELY athletic. He’s only 6’1” and 195 lbs, but can dunk with the best in the league. He’s even been nicknamed the “mini-Lebron”.

It was rumored after Paul renewed his contract and therefore the Clippers didn’t want to pay Bledsoe to be a backup, that he would be traded somewhere. It was rumored he would be dealt to different destinations, but Phoenix swooped in and stole him from the rest of the league.

Best-Case Scenario: Bledsoe ends up blossoming in his starting role and creates a two-headed, lightning-fast, penetrating monster with Dragic. If he really excels and his numbers warrant it, he COULD be the final shooting guard reserve in the All-Star game for the Western Conference behind Kobe Bryant and James Harden.

Worst-Case Scenario: He can’t do as well as we thought and can’t produce relatively equal numbers with a bigger sample size and potentially (though almost certainly not) could get benched.

What’s at Stake: Bledsoe is only 23 and is so athletic that Phoenix won’t trade him for a few years. There is too much raw potential to not take a prolonged chance over multiple seasons.

Possible Statistical Averages: PPG: 14.0 (+5.5), APG: 5.3 (+2.2), RPG: 6.2 (+3.2)

This is the breakout year for Bledsoe. The league saw it coming; it was inevitable. Not a matter of if, just a matter of when. He sure is going to make the Suns exciting this upcoming season.

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