+ Quick, athletic guard with good size and tremendous defensive potential.
+ Nominally a point guard, but no idea how to play offense. Turnover machine.
+ Poor outside shooter and lacks feel, but has great burst and draws fouls.
Bledsoe was injured for a big chunk of 2011-12 and on the fringes of the rotation for much of the rest, but he was a revelation in the postseason with his dogged defense and ball pressure.
He played only 436 minutes and his regular-season numbers were pretty ugly. He can't shoot and has an insanely high turnover ratio, which it makes it awfully tough for him to be an effective offensive player. Last season his 45.4 true shooting percentage was about as bad as it gets for a guard, and his turnover ratio would have been the worst at his position with enough minutes. He had a negative pure point rating for a second straight season, which is bad, bad news if you're an aspiring point guard. Basically, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more inefficient offensive player.
Nonetheless, his suffocating defense gives him some value. He's an active, athletic defender with high rates of steals and rebounds, and despite standing 6-foot-1 he can guard many 2s effectively. There's a cost in fouls -- he had one every 7.5 minutes, which is extremely high for a point guard -- but the Clippers gave up 8.5 fewer points per 100 possessions with him on the court.
All of which sets up an important third season for Bledsoe. He'll likely be handed the backup point guard gig and will certainly terrorize opposing backups with his ball pressure. But he needs to show some degree of competence on offense to stay in the rotation.
And what was said about Bledsoe this seaon
I find it ironic that people talking about how DD still has so much room to improve do not extend the same courtesy to a player who is 4 months younger, who has played about 5700 less NBA minutes, and yet still managed to nearly triple DD's WP48 last season. He has been stuck behind arguably the best PG in the league the last 2 seasons whereas DD has been given every opportunity imaginable.
I like Bledsoe, I would prefer him as a backup to Lowry though. If he is good enough this season, we dont have to extend Lowry, if he maintains his offensive woes, we may have a long extended duo of Lowry + Bledsoe, which in my mind locks up that position as gold!
The Baltic Beast is unstoppable!
+ One-dimensional scorer who can get to the rim and draw fouls. Midrange shooter.
+ Great leaper, finisher. Ball hog with iffy handle, passes only as last resort.
+ Decent defensive tools but focus an issue. Struggles to guard big 3s.
DeRozan averaged nearly a point every two minutes last season, ranking in the top third of shooting guards in that metric. And that about does it for the good news.
Few players score an emptier 20 than this guy. Offensively, DeRozan drew fouls at a high rate (eighth among shooting guards) and made his freebies (81 percent). But his secondary percentage was still less than the norm for the position because he made only 24 3-pointers all season, and his midrange stroke had some snags, too. DeRozan had made a strong 41.5 percent of his long 2s in 2010-11, but that might have been an outlier; he converted only 35.7 percent last season. Given that he mostly shot long 2s, that was a problem.
His other problem is that he doesn't notice the other four guys on the court. It's one thing for DeRozan to be a mildly inefficient, high-volume shooter, but he also created only for himself. He ranked just 56th out of 61 shooting guards in pure point rating.
Defensively, DeRozan improved but still has a long way to go to become decent. Some of that can be attributed to playing more at the 3, where he struggled with size mismatches. However, his effort and technique also could use a significant upgrade. DeRozan ranked near the bottom of Synergy's rankings, while the Raptors gave up 3.5 points per 100 possessions more with him on the court.
I think everyone would do well to remember that flexibility IS an ASSET in and of itself
Trade #1 - DeRozan for Bledsoe & Butler
Trade #2 - Lowry (and possibly Butler being flipped) for Millsap (S&T)
My point is that I can't see MU keeping both Bledsoe and Lowry, if Bledsoe is acquired. While I like the idea of letting two good, young players battle it out to earn the starting job going forward, I'd worry that forcing them into that sort of competition might leave a bad taste in the 'winner's' mouth.
I simply wouldnt trade a proven asset for a non proven asset. Demar > Bledsoe any day
The Baltic Beast is unstoppable!
The question then becomes, how much is Bledsoe going to cost? If he's this in demand now (Orlando, Dallas, Toronto, Milwaukee all interested), then how much is he going to be in demand in 2014 when he's an RFA? Is he worth 4 years / $44M when he hasn't proven much (that seems to be what most PG's are going for)? And is his stock higher than Lowry's?
I personally would rather Keep Lowry, and trade DD for Millsap. Then have Lowry prove his worth and then look at our options in 2014. Lowry is probably going to have a fantastic season due to not having Jose on his back, being injury free (hopefully) and being in a contract year. And with Ujiri at the helm, it's possible that he could give Lowry a better than market value and signs him back to a 2/3 year contract. Lowry may appreciate the chance he was given with Toronto, and takes that offer.
In this particular case, I would prefer the gamble of trying Lowry for one season and hope he comes back at a reasonable salary, over trying Bledsoe for a year and overpaying to keep him because some stupid small market team asks for too much.
Lowry isnt going to get Urah Milsap when they just got Trey Burke.
Part of me wonders if MU was actually behind the leaking of Toronto's interest in Bledsoe, for a variety of reasons:
1. Drive up price for Bargnani - check
2. Make teams aware that DeRozan is/could be on the trade block, for a Bledsoe-caliber player at least - check
3. Drive up price for DeRozan - TBD...
Just to put it in perpective though, James Terry, Jamal Crawford and J.R. Smith were also 6th man of the year winners. If scoring is the only criteria for being a good player then you are right, Bledsoe isn't any good, and all the teams throwing trade offers the way of the Clippers are wrong.
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