Is Eric Bledsoe going to be a Cavalier?

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 05: Eric Bledsoe
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 05: Eric Bledsoe /

Would the Cleveland Cavaliers trade Kyrie Irving, or Kevin Love, for Eric Bledsoe?

According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Eric Bledsoe could end up with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Eric Bledsoe ended up in Cleveland” – Stephen A. Smith"

Earlier this week, Bledsoe was linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers in rumors that the Cavs were willing to trade Kyrie Irving to the Phoenix Suns for Bledsoe and the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. That deal was reportedly nixed when the Cavs came to James with the proposal and then guarantee he’d commit long-term but didn’t get it.

That’s not altogether unsurprising, given how James has taken to Irving in the past couple of seasons. For that matter, Irving has been a willing protegé. Bledsoe, who James considers a little brother, is more athletic and theoretically could be the better defender; that’s a factor played a decision into the Cavs willingness to trade him.

However, the fourth overall pick would be used to acquire Paul George from the Indiana Pacers. According to Smith, the Cavs, Pacers, Suns, Knicks and Nuggets were involved in a five-team trade that would bring Bledsoe, George and Carmelo Anthony to Cleveland. However, the deal fell through because the Cavs couldn’t find any takers for Kevin Love and Jackson was straining himself to get Anthony to waive his no-trade clause.

Smith has reported that the Suns interested in Love, now. That could be tied into the New York Knicks unwillingness to trade Kristaps Porzingis with Phil Jackson ousted from the Big Apple. Porzingis’ availability on draft night may have been what held up the deal; if Love went to Phoenix, Irving could be re-routed to any team with his trade value.

Still, now that the Suns have emerged as a potential suitor for Love’s talents, the possibility that the five-team trade could get done.

Bledsoe is the most underrated player in the entire NBA.

Yeah, I said it.

Last season, Bledsoe averaged 21.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. He was one of five players to have those averages, along with LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kyle Lowry.

"“According to NBA Math’s total points added (TPA) metric, only 27 players added more value during the entire campaign, even though he suited up in just 66 contests.” – Adam Fromal, Bleacher Report"

Bledsoe is number one on Bleacher Report’s list of NBA Divorces that need to happen and it’s a divorce that makes sense with the suns making Devin Booker and Josh Jackson the faces of their franchise. On the Suns, Bledsoe has had great personal success but he’s in a spiral on the Suns with no help to stop it if he stays.

Bledsoe is consistently left off the All-Star ballot in the guard packed Western Conference. However, in the East and in Cleveland, Bledsoe would shine. Getting him here is the only issue, as James sees Irving as the heir to the throne.

Related Story: Cavaliers nearly trade Irving

Adding Bledsoe to the roster would allow Irving to move to shooting guard. Becoming less of a facilitator and more of a scorer, this could greatly benefit Irving and the Cavaliers. Bledsoe is a strong and stocky point guard that would provide athleticism and toughness to the Cavaliers lineup. He plays more under control on offense and is a better facilitator at the point guard position.

If it’s not feasible to get this trade done without Irving and he’s eventually traded for Bledsoe, it will be bittersweet.

Bledsoe would be a great fit on the Cavaliers and would do well in replacing Irving in the lineup.  I would only hope that the Cavaliers get George and Anthony if they are giving up the phenom that is Kyrie Irving.

Perhaps this is the trade that could kickstart the myriad of deals involving George and Anthony in Cleveland. Or, perhaps this could simply be a trade where the Cavaliers could land the most underrated player in the NBA in Bledsoe.

Whether the deal involves Irving or Love is up to the front office. However, Love has a greater chance of ending up in Phoenix if James wields as much power as believed.

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