As much talent and upside as Bledsoe projects, I wonder if Dragic is more of our long term answer at point guard. The one team that I continuously hear would offer Bledsoe a max contract and force us to actually match is the Lakers. I say let them have him now and let them help us land us Kevin Love.
The Suns already hold both Minnesota’s 2014 protected pick as well as the Lakers 2015 protected pick, plus Indy’s and Washington’s picks that would likely transfer this year without much doubt. See attached link, via ESPN Trade Machine.
You say why would we give Bledsoe to the Lakers? Well this is how I see it, we already have the Lakers 2015 pick, so the Lakers by rule couldn’t include their 2014 pick in any trade, couldn’t even trade their 2016 pick. However they could trade their 2017 and 2019 picks. They’ve had no problem in the past parting with 1st round picks (2 of them to acquire a point guard) from the Suns. All that said this is how I see the deal going down.
Suns Get: Love and Martin.
Wolves Get: Gasol (to pair with Rubio) as well as the Morris Twins plus their pick they owe us back, the Lakers 2015, 2017 and 2019 1st round picks.
Lakers Get: Bledsoe and Okafor’s expiring contract.
Why do the Suns do it? Well, Love of course, plus you can add an efficient scorer to play full time at the 2 next to Dragic. Kevin Martin would actually fit perfectly because he doesn’t need the ball to score. He scores off open jump shots and moving without the ball.
Suns Line up going forward:
C-Plumlee, Len, Slava (Twin headed monster at center with Plumlee and Len, for the next 10 plus years)
PF-Love, Frye (Frye would be the perfect back up to Love)
SF-Tucker, Green (rotate depending on need for D or O)
SG-Martin, Goodwin, Xmas (eventually Goodwin takes the starting spot but for now Martin is a solid 3rd scoring option)
PG-Dragic, Ish, Barbosa (still have Washington’s and Indy’s picks to add back up point in the draft)
Why do the Lakers do it? Well they get the next young star they can build around in Bledsoe. With having to max offer or match Bledsoe this summer the Lakers would essentially be out of he running for Kevin Love in the summer of 2015 (which is the only place I could see the Suns losing Kevin Love to). However while Bledsoe is still in restricted free agency status his cap hit would be less and the Lakers could potentially (If Nash retires) give them enough money to convince King James to come to L.A. to play with his little brother and take over for an aging Kobe. Finally teams like the Lakers (Yankees in baseball) don’t care about their draft picks. They acquire talent by name sake in free agency and would have no problem giving up draft picks to help them get proven names now.
Why does Minny do it? Well they are going to lose Love at some point, either for nothing or via trade. They’ve flirted with pairing Pau and Ricky together for years and Gasol’s expiring contract would open of some free agency money this summer (especially by the Suns taking Martin off their books too). If Gasol resigned for a reasonable contract he would be a decent piece going forward, not to mention having the Morris twins they would have younger and more affordable options to fill the void by Love going forward. Finally the best thing the Wolves can get for Love at this point is numerous draft picks and hope for one or two of them to turn into something special. They would have the 3 picks from the Lakers as well as their own back. If they really wanted one of the picks from Indy or Washington or even one of the Suns 1st going forward I say give it to them. The best way for teams to rebuild quickly is numerous draft picks and cap flexibility (Sound familiar?)
If the Suns could pull something like this off it would set them up for years. A core of Love, Dragic and Kevin Martin would be dangerous. While it doesn’t strike fear like L. James, Wade and Bosh, it makes sense and the players listed above fit together nicely. If Len and Goodwin develop like people think they can, the Suns could have a deep and versatile team for a long, long time.