There is one sole impact free agent remaining on the market and subsequently mentions of his name fill my timeline regularly with readers inquiring as to both the feasibility and advisability of an acquisition of said player. I’m speaking of course, of Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe who has yet to reach terms with his incumbent suitor, staring a potential qualifying offer in the eye. If the Rockets were to roll the dice, the feat would require a sign&trade with Houston jettisoning the glut of non-guaranteed contracts they’ve been hoarding over the past month. In fact, a deal like this is specifically why Daryl Morey has moved quickly on so many unconventional agreements.
But would Bledsoe be a smart play? This series seeks to ascertain the answer to that very question. (I am aware the ‘summer assignment’ series has not reached its natural conclusion, but the final installment–regarding Terrence Jones–is rather lengthy, as you’d imagine). One caveat: please do not link or tweet to this post/series in sourcing Houston interest in Bledsoe. This post is intended as pure speculation and due diligent prior analysis in the event of a forthcoming deal; I do not have any information on this front nor have I heard anything. So please don’t do that or I will be very irritated and will write angry tweets.
To begin, the initial point of this discussion is Patrick Beverley, the incumbent starter at point guard. I’ve lamented that one of the most unfortunate consequences from the loss of Chris Bosh is the shattered hope of absolute roster parity. In essence, in acquiring a star power forward, the Houston lineup would have had no weaknesses. With only point guard targets remaining as realistic (Rajon Rondo, Bledsoe, etc.), and a gaping hole at power forward (summer assignment: Terrence Jones, coming soon), that dream is gone. The Rockets would need to rob Peter to pay Paul in trying to improve, upgrading from a very capable player in Beverley while not addressing their achilles heel. But what is Daryl Morey to do? They let Parsons go for the sole reason of future improvement.
Using Synergy, I’ll examine Bledsoe’s offensive and defensive proficiencies, in certain categories, in the later posts. Initially, however, I’m curious as to how Daryl Morey views Bledsoe’s ultimate trajectory. Is this another James Harden situation? Probably not nearly to the same degree (Harden is, after all, the league’s best all-around player), but perhaps Bledsoe is still just scratching the surface of what he can become. Last season’s breakout would seem to be indicative of that point. Will he keep growing? And lastly, and most importantly, is a Harden/Howard/Bledsoe core sufficient? The predicate of everything that happened this entire offseason was the premise that whoever the last guy is, Chandler Parsons or whomever, that last guy is really the last guy, for the duration of the Howard era. Is Daryl Morey comfortable with Eric Bledsoe being that person?