Apr 14, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) dribbles against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Is Eric Bledsoe a No. 1 option?

Suns fans know about the negotiation troubles between the Phoenix Suns and restricted free agent guard Eric Bledsoe. The Suns are sticking to their four year $48 million dollar offer, while Bledsoe wants to be paid like a maximum player. Media members and Suns fans are like broken down record players as we repeat the same question, is Eric Bledsoe worth a max deal?

Potential and skill set point to yes, while his injury history points the other direction. The 24-year-old guard is often called “mini-LeBron” by his NBA peers for his ridiculous athleticism and ability to get to the basket. But, that doesn’t mean he should automatically be paid like a NBA superstar.

Professional shooting coach David Nurse of HoopsHype writes this very informative piece that details all of Bledsoe’s faults and skills as he debates the true worth of the Suns guard from the less money-centric perspective of whether he’s a No. 1 option rather than the No. 2 he’s been behind John Wall, Chris Paul and now, to a degree, Goran Dragic.

One reason Nurse gives to support Bledsoe’s case from his article:

From the point guard position, Bledsoe is extremely effective in pick-and-roll situations in which he is in 37.9 percent of his offensive touches. This ranks him in the Top 75 percent of the league and in front of players such as Manu Ginobli and Russell Westbrook. 

Here is a stat that Nurse gives that supports the other side of the argument:

Let’s take a look at Bledsoe from the 2-guard position. High level 2-guards in the NBA must be able to extend the defense and shoot at a clip of over 38 percent from beyond the arc. In 2013-14, Bledsoe shot a very mediocre 32.7 percent, ranking him even below our favorite low-percentage, step-back fadeaway poster boy Brandon Jennings.

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