Milwaukee Bucks: How much is too much to offer for Eric Bledsoe?

Milwaukee, WI - FEBRUARY 26: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Milwaukee, WI - FEBRUARY 26: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Behind the Buck Pass staff weigh in on what the Milwaukee Bucks should offer for Eric Bledsoe in trade talks, and whether that’s likely to get a deal done.

Over the past 48 hours the NBA community has gone into a frenzy in regards to a potential Eric Bledsoe trade.

As Bledsoe’s relationship with the Suns appears to have broken down beyond repair, a number of teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks, have been reported as interested in trading for the guard.

It was no secret that a young and rebuilding Suns team was going to be bad this year, and that Eric Bledsoe was among the league’s players who were seen as most likely to get traded before the deadline in February.

Suddenly February feels so far away, though, and there’s every chance that Bledsoe is moved before we cross over into November. The immediacy of the situation was highlighted by a now infamous tweet from Bledsoe on Sunday:

In the time since, Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough stated that Bledsoe “won’t be with us going forward.”

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The result of that has been sending the internet into a trade frenzy and providing a reason to start cranking out potential trades via the ESPN Trade Machine.

In light of this, the Behind the Buck Pass staff got together to share our thoughts on the Bucks’ rumors surrounding Bledsoe and to discuss what a fair price for the guard could be. For an easy way of capturing that, we all answered the following simple question:

What would you be prepared to give up for Eric Bledsoe, and do you think that’s enough to get a deal done?

Zach Pellowski: There are only a select few players I’d be willing to part ways with for the Bucks to acquire Bledsoe. I feel that Bledsoe could really help propel the Bucks for a push to make the Eastern Conference Finals this year, but I don’t want to sell the farm in order to get a player who’s clearly unhappy with his current situation. I’d be comfortable seeing the Bucks trade any combination of draft picks, John Henson, Rashad Vaughn, Mirza Teletovic, Matthew Dellavedova, or Sterling Brown.

Ideally what I envision with the Bucks acquiring Eric Bledsoe is a third team to come in on the trade in order to make all sides feel that they are getting the best price possible. The scenario I settled on was a three-team trade between Milwaukee, Phoenix, and Philadelphia.

Trade Idea:

Milwaukee Receives: Eric Bledsoe via PHX, Jerryd Bayless via PHI, Jahlil Okafor via PHI

Phoenix Receives: John Henson via MIL, Rashad Vaughn via MIL, Milwaukee’s 2018 first round pick, Philadelphia’s 2019 first round pick

Philadelphia Receives: Tyson Chandler via PHX, Mirza Teletovic via MIL

In this scenario, the Bucks are saving Philadelphia and Phoenix from having to hold on to two players who are both unhappy in their current situations.

Okafor would give the Bucks more depth at center with Henson departing, and who knows what he could blossom into if he’s given the right situation. Additionally, Milwaukee would receive an immediate upgrade at point guard with Eric Bledsoe. On top of that, they get to bring back Jerryd Bayless who’s a familiar face to several players on this Bucks roster and would provide further guard cover.

The Suns get some youth with Henson and Vaughn, but also get two first rounders to continue their rebuild.

The 76ers acquire Chandler who’s a proven big man who would fit as a great backup to Embiid. Additionally, since Embiid still isn’t cleared to play back to backs, you have Chandler who can come in and fit the role of starting center when needed. What makes it even better is Mirza can come in and stretch the floor for Philadelphia providing more lanes for Ben Simmons to cut through and also clearing out the paint for Embiid.

Mike Bossetti: I would be willing to give up D.J. Wilson, a lottery protected first rounder (protection in case of Giannis injury), and whichever contract the Suns would choose to take on from Milwaukee’s less desirable options. I would guess the contract would be Greg Monroe‘s since it is expiring. I understand this would leave the team thin at center but with time before the deadline and lots of teams trying to unload big men I think that could be addressed, if needed.

I am not sure if that would get the deal done, it feels close but I would lean toward a no. Bledsoe is really good and I wouldn’t be surprised if four or five teams are trying to get him at this point.

Adam Coffman: I’m of a pretty conservative mindset when it comes to trades, which means I’m generally not in favor of sending core players out in exchange for unknown value. The Suns don’t have a ton of leverage, but with other franchises potentially making their own bids, it would seem unlikely for the Bucks to get Bledsoe for mid-tier assets alone.

Of course, if the Bucks are able to swing a deal for any combination of players and picks that doesn’t involve Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or Thon Maker, I’m all for it. The fit would have to be worked out, but it’s pretty clear at the moment that the offense would greatly benefit from some secondary scoring punch behind Giannis.

Ultimately though, I feel that Milwaukee won’t be the ones to end up with Bledsoe when it’s all said and done.

Leander Wallace: I am a little scared off by Bledsoe’s mindset right now. Now look, Phoenix is a dumpster fire at the moment, but you still can’t basically quit on your team. Milwaukee’s team chemistry seems pretty solid and that can affect a team. However, talent still wins out. So, it’d be crazy not to make an offer.

I would be very interested in any deal that unloaded Delly’s contract. So even if that took Jabari Parker and a highly protected pick, I’d consider it. To some, this will seem like a lot, but Jabari is a gamble at this point in my mind and will want a big extension. Bledsoe is the better player at the moment, and then ridding Delly’s contracts from our books is worth the protected first.

Ti Windsich: I like Eric Bledsoe, but every trade is a gamble, and I don’t like him enough to bet a lot on this trade making Milwaukee significantly better. I would not include Malcolm Brogdon or Thon Maker in any offer, and the Bucks’ big three (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton) should be off of the board as well.

As far as actual, workable deals, I’d call the Suns and offer John Henson (he’s good now!), Rashad Vaughn and two second round picks. I don’t think that comes close, but I’d be willing to bump the offer up to Henson (or one of Matthew Dellavedova, Mirza Teletovic or Greg Monroe, if they move the needle), D.J. Wilson (if they like him better than Vaughn), and a first round pick.

One of those deals might work, but I’ve far since given up on guessing what makes sense and what doesn’t after Sam Presti turned terrible contracts and unappealing young players into Paul George and Carmelo Anthony this summer.

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Rohan Katti: The thought of the Milwaukee Bucks making a trade for Eric Bledsoe has been, and still is a tantalizing idea. With the Bucks seemingly making a push for the upper echelon of the league this season, it should always be thought of as a positive for the Bucks to acquire more and more talent to surround Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, I would not be in favor of sending away too much in a package for Bledsoe.

The highest offer I would make would be John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, D.J. Wilson, and a first round pick to acquire Eric Bledsoe and Jared Dudley. In this situation, the Bucks are not giving away any important pieces (Brogdon or Maker) and are in essence trading Henson’s contract for Dudley’s contract, and upgrading Delly to Bledsoe. Bucks fans would surely welcome back Jared Dudley with open arms, knowing that he has one less year on his contract compared to Henson, and would bring more talent to the bench unit. Eric Bledsoe would fortify the Bucks’ point guard depth, and is a massive improvement over Dellavedova, and again has one less year on his contract. If both Bledsoe and Dudley were to walk come the summer of 2019, that would be fine because the Bucks would have dramatically increased their cap flexibility in this trade.

I think that this proposed trade has a possibility of being viable for both sides, and I would pounce on it immediately if I were Jon Horst. Not only would this trade improve the team, but it proves to Giannis that the Bucks are capable of acquiring more talent, which would hopefully make him even more inclined to stay in Milwaukee once free agency rolls around.

Joseph Sliwinski: Bledsoe to me is not worth a whole lot now that he has openly requested a trade. We saw two similar instances this year: Paul George to the Thunder and Carmelo Anthony to the Thunder. Both had openly said they wanted to be traded which diminishes their value greatly. I think realistically Bledsoe’s ceiling for a return could be a first round pick from a guaranteed contender, meaning that it is a for sure late first round pick and not worth much to the contender anyways.

Otherwise I think maybe a second round pick and one or two players should do the trick. The Suns have a dumpster fire of a front office and ownership group that fired basically their entire coaching staff within three games of the season. Now their star player is requesting a trade via Twitter. I think the Bucks should get him if the trade below occurs. Do not include Thon! I repeat do not include Thon!

Phoenix receives: Henson, Vaughn, 2018 and 2020 second round picks

Milwaukee receives: Bledsoe

Related Story: Milwaukee Bucks: Assessing potential Eric Bledsoe trade pieces

Adam McGee: We’ve officially reached the point where Bucks fans are feeling good enough about the team to start overrating assets. I’m by no means the biggest Eric Bledsoe fan but there is something intriguing about how a player in his style could thrive with this team. It’s tough to gauge value in the current market, but pointing back to George and Butler isn’t the best way to reflect upon that. Value is always going to be dictated by the demand, and in many ways the fact that Bledsoe appears to be so attainable will have increased demand, and should give the Suns a chance at prevailing as the victors in a bidding war if they remain patient.

In terms of where the Bucks go with a deal, the Suns shouldn’t just panic into moving a borderline All-Star with two years left on his contract. You could argue that the longer all of this drags on, the closer the Suns get to a top pick in next summer’s draft and as such they have no reason for urgency. Likewise, that also creates time for other struggling teams to panic and overpay.

The Suns are not going to be interested in accepting the Bucks’ leftovers. Rashad Vaughn is failing to make the active roster for Bucks games, so he doesn’t count toward the Suns’ desire to add young talent. Even with a positive start to this season, John Henson is an unappealing contract who would take a real asset being bundled with him to get a deal done.

My offer would be Greg Monroe, D.J. Wilson and a top-3 protected 2018 first round pick. This means that in exchange for Bledsoe the Suns get a young prospect in Wilson, the chance to add another in this year’s draft, and a chunk of cap space when Monroe hits free agency in the summer. Losing Monroe would hurt the Bucks, but they may be forced to move on from him in the summer anyway, and in the interim this trade would see the Bucks save $5.5 million, while also bringing in Bledsoe. The Bucks should certainly not be taking Tyson Chandler back in any deal, and I’d be wary of a Jared Dudley reunion at his current price.

Whether this would be enough for a deal is still uncertain to me. Someone will pay up if their situation gets desperate enough and the Suns are smart enough to wait.

Jordan Treske: It’s felt as if Bledsoe has long been the white whale for the Bucks since there were trade rumors centered around him in the summer after his shortened breakout season three years ago.

As we know, the Suns have fallen off considerably since then, but that obviously doesn’t fall squarely on Bledsoe’s shoulders as he’s become a 20-point per game scorer in recent seasons and can stuff the stat sheet in rebounds, assists and steals.

With that said, his long-term health is a significant concern, considering he’s picked up knee injuries on multiple occasions and the Suns shut him down for the last month of the season last year through nefarious means. And obviously, they haven’t done anything to increase his trade value in order to move him through all of this controversy and recent reports have equally said as much.

As such, I wouldn’t dangle any young or foundational core piece in any trade package for Bledsoe. That may be overrating the developing or essential players the Bucks possess, but I do wonder if the timing is right to part with valuable assets and diminish their cupboard, so to speak, as a result for a player who does hold some red flags. Does that mean an offer like Greg Monroe, D.J. Wilson and first round pick, this year or a future one, gets it done? I normally wouldn’t have thought so, but this summer has changed my thinking on that in more ways than one.

There will be a day when a player who’s too good to pass up on and who fits the team’s timeline will become available on the trade market and the Bucks will have to seriously weigh the possibility of parting with a significant piece to their team. Ultimately, I just don’t think we’re there yet.

Benjamin Sewell: I would be open to trading for Bledsoe for the right price.

In no way would I ever be happy with trading a valuable core piece for him, though. His trade value is through the floor and everyone in the league knows it. I’d be happy to trade a lottery protected 2018 first round pick for him (projected to be mid-20s at this rate) and throw in some salaries to make it work. If that means Henson/Vaughn then that’s what the Suns would have to swallow. They need Bledsoe off this roster and if our first round pick is the best they can get, than they’re also getting some of the Bucks’ bad contracts to boot.

In this instance, Milwaukee would be getting a valuable core piece and removing some bad contracts for a first round pick. That’d be a win-win for the Bucks, as I genuinely believe Bledsoe is not a bad locker room guy, but he was made to look bad on a terrible Suns roster.

Joe Osterndorf: At the end of the day, I don’t think Bledsoe is a piece that puts the Bucks over the top. His fit with the Bucks is questionable, considering his inconsistent three-point shooting. Additionally, his injury concerns also hurt his value, and his less than cryptic tweets don’t help his value either.

That being said, he’s a clear talent upgrade over Delly and Brogdon. He could also likely play alongside Brogdon, who can play the 2. He would be on a different level offensively than the current Bucks point guards.

If the Bucks can trade for him without giving up a core piece, like Brogdon, Maker, or Jabari, it’s worth a shot. If they could offload some of the long term money the Bucks have tied into Henson or Dellavedova, that would make it even better.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: Examining Eric Bledsoe’s potential fit

I’d be willing to give up one of our rookies, a second rounder, Vaughn, and Delly to match salaries. If the Suns are willing to take Delly and Henson, and throw back Dudley or Chandler to the Bucks, I would throw in another sweetener, such as a first round pick.