After another disappointing postseason run, Eric Bledsoe’s tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks may soon be coming to an end after three seasons.
It seems like just yesterday that the Milwaukee Bucks landed Eric Bledsoe in a deal with the Phoenix Suns that seemed destined to turn things around. The Bucks finally had a big-name point guard at their disposal, one that, on paper, appeared to be the perfect third complement to the ascending duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
In actuality, that was three years ago, and Bledsoe never quite lived up to the expectations many had set for him when he first stepped foot in Milwaukee. The 30-year-old’s criticism has predominantly come regarding his production in the postseason, or lack thereof. In 31 playoff games with the Bucks over three years, the guard has regressed to a shell of his regular-season self, averaging just 13.1 points, 4.6 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Following the team’s disappointing close to the 2019-20 NBA season in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals to the Miami Heat, many fans and analysts are calling for change, and that will only continue through the offseason. The Milwaukee Bucks are not without their all-around flaws, but near the top of the list resides their starting point guard, the man they handed a $70 million extension to before the 2019 postseason.
With another woeful playoff performance in the books, it seems that it is finally time for Milwaukee to move on from Eric Bledsoe. With Giannis Antetokounmpo under contract for one more season before he hits the free-agent market, the Bucks will have one last opportunity to make an impression that proves Milwaukee is the long-term place for him to play. To do so, the team must make some roster improvements, the most notable seemingly being at the point guard position.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Milwaukee understands this and will use Eric Bledsoe as a trade piece this offseason in the hopes of surrounding Giannis Antetokounmpo with more playmaking and shooting. One name that has sparked conversation is 10-time All-Star Chris Paul, currently a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst: “Chris Paul to Milwaukee is going to become a conversation.”
The move makes sense, considering Paul shared an interest in playing alongside the reigning league MVP Giannis last season, but this is precisely what the team needs. Not only does Chris Paul give the Bucks an immediate upgrade at the point guard position with a future surefire Hall of Famer, but it also provides Antetokounmpo his best teammate ever; no subliminal shot at Khris Middleton. Whether Milwaukee goes all-in on Paul is uncertain, but there is undoubtedly some chatter going on behind the scenes.
As for Bledsoe, there could be plenty of potential suitors looking for an upgrade at the point guard position this offseason. While he has his flaws, Bledsoe is still a serviceable point guard offensively and an exceptional defender, earning back to back All-Defensive honors in 2019-20. It seems that right now, the guard needs a fresh start elsewhere more than anything to get back on the right track.
With the Milwaukee Bucks potentially entertaining the idea of trading for Chris Paul or others, it seems inevitable that they are looking to close the door on the Eric Bledsoe chapter. Nothing is set in stone just yet, but change seems imminent.