Step 1 – The Preseason
If LeBron is to end up in Phoenix, then Eric Bledsoe and James Jones need to pitch this opportunity now. LeBron and Bledsoe have history. They are both represented by Rich Paul, James was expected at Eric’s wedding this summer, and the two, along with Derrick Rose, went to Vegas to practice together in July.
As previously highlighted, it shouldn’t be hard to showcase the potential. However, it’s essential that LeBron doesn’t actually step foot in AZ during the summer as that would likely scare him off – or bake him. Either way it’s bad.
James has been very positive towards several Suns, but the potential of what this team could become with him on the roster needs to be articulated. Here are some comments James has made recently regarding our key players:
If it’s someone who is under the radar right now that I believe is going to be a really, really, really good All-Star player in the league- it’s Devin Booker from the Phoenix Suns.
LeBron James is doing some LeBron James offseason work. And my understanding is it’s not just Derrick Rose, it’s not just Eric Bledsoe. LeBron James happens to know a guy named James Jones . . . LeBron James is hustling behind the scenes, is my understanding, asking ‘Is Josh Jackson available for Kyrie Irving?’ And the answer back that I heard is ‘no, he is not.’ But LeBron James is hustling on behalf of the Cleveland Cavaliers, at least for this one year.
and Eric Bledsoe
“I think the reason he’s playing so well on the floor is how much he’s grown off the floor,’’ James said before Sunday’s game against the Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. “He’s a complete family man at this point. Kids. Beautiful family. Beautiful fiancee. His mom is the backbone of it all. It makes the game that much easier when things off the court are well off.”
It’s hard to not be a fan of those three. Devin Booker is oozing with talent. He is just 20-years-old and has already finished two NBA seasons. Booker has improved each season and manged to average 22.1 ppg last season. His historic 70 point game against the Boston Celtics was an insight into just how prolific Booker can be in the NBA.
Josh Jackson could conceivably become the best player in the absolutely loaded 2017 draft. The fact that LeBron inquired after him, in one form or another, proves that the Suns are onto something. If Jackson can turn into what the Suns believe he can be, he can become the defensive cornerstone who can guard the one through the four and bring excitement and energy to Phoenix for years to come.
Eric Bledsoe had his best statistical season last year, and he’s only 27. While that’s not young compared to the rest of the Suns’ core, that’s five years younger than the 32-year-old Chris Paul and other elite players, including James himself. With a better team around him, Bledsoe could have his best season to date.
Outside of those three, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss would also mesh well with LeBron’s style of play as they allow the Suns to spread the floor and run the court. LeBron has been a big fan of Tristian Thompson, and it’s possible for Chriss to turn into a rich man’s Tristian Thompson with range. Bender can play a similar role as Kevin Love, but offers more size and the potential to be a great defender as well.
If the Suns are able to retain T.J. Warren, he has proven his ability to score in bunches, almost at will. Warren coming off the bench would allow the Suns to compete without LeBron on the court, which has been perhaps the major weakness the past few seasons in Cleveland.
The Summer objective is start the conversation and help LeBron to see the potential. The Suns are a perfect fit for LeBron, he just doesn’t know it yet. But he will after Bledsoe and James Jones pitch him this offseason.