Skip to content

Suns were the aggressors in three-team deal that brought Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Phoenix

Jul 12, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Caron Butler, Eric Bledsoe introduced in Phoenix Caron Butler, Eric Bledsoe introduced in Phoenix

PHOENIX — The Suns surprised everyone who closely follows the landscape of NBA free agency by coming away with one of the more coveted players in the summer sweepstakes that all teams take part in to try to bolster their rosters through talent acquisition.

There were no rumors or leaked reports of conversations progressing between the Suns, Bucks, and Clippers on the three-team trade that ultimately came to pass. But in the end, the Suns ended up with a young and talented player still on his rookie contract in Eric Bledsoe, while the Clippers received Jared Dudley from the Suns and J.J. Redick from the Bucks as part of a sign-and-trade deal that netted Milwaukee two second round picks — one each from L.A. and Phoenix.

Bledsoe is viewed as a dynamic point guard talent by most, and someone who could be one of the top starters in the league at his position if given the right opportunity, as long as he continues his development. That chance wasn’t going to come with the Clippers, where Bledsoe shined at times, but ultimately had to cede his minutes to one of the best point guards in the game in Chris Paul.

Paul entered the summer as an unrestricted free agent, but once he committed to stay in L.A., it was game on as far as teams trying to deal for Bledsoe.

“I kind of knew once Chris signed that I was definitely going to be traded,” Bledsoe said at his introductory press conference with the Suns on Thursday.

“This was a deal, as Eric mentioned, I don’t think they were going to trade him until they knew that Chris Paul was going to re-sign in L.A.,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough said. “And then once Chris re-signed, or verbally committed to come back, we were very aggressive in going after these two guys.”

How aggressive? Enough that the Suns’ brass had no problem publicly stating that it was their team’s braintrust that made this deal happen, and were collectively creative enough to come up with the right scenario to get the Clippers to willingly pull the trigger on trading a young asset like Bledsoe.

“I would say that anybody looking at the trade objectively will realize that the impetus for the trade came from here,” Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby said. “Our staff came up with the idea of facilitating a trade that was predicated on a sign-and-trade with Milwaukee, and we were kind of the facilitators of the entire transaction. I don’t know if you’d call that aggressive, but at the very least, we were creative. And the outcome was really good for all three teams.”

While the Clippers are going to be contenders for the title next season, with the pieces they acquired in this deal no doubt helping them in their chase, it’s arguably an even better one for a Phoenix team looking for legitimacy during a rebuilding process with almost entirely new personnel, both in the front office as well as on the sidelines.

New head coach Jeff Hornacek was all smiles when running through the possibilities he hopes to see with Bledsoe and Butler playing in his uptempo system.

“As a coach, I’m just envisioning Eric and [Goran Dragic] pushing the ball up the court, creating those four-on-three, three-on-two opportunities, Caron’s knocking down threes and jump shots, and the bigs rolling to the basket,” Hornacek said. “I think it’s a great addition of these two guys.”

The vibe is a good one in Phoenix, for the first time in a long time. The team has yet to play a game under the new regime of course, but the moves being made by its young GM and the words being spoken by the first-time head coach have everyone believing that the small initial steps being taken to improve are absolutely ones that have things headed in the right direction.

“We’re glad it worked out,” McDonough said. “We’ll miss Jared Dudley and what he brought to the table here, but we feel like this is a terrific trade for us, and these guys are a big part of our future.”

  1. dezglobal - Jul 12, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Wow the suns really making moves… They even changed the logo…..


    They said they did anyway lol

    • aarondommin - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      A sight for sore eyes: No Sarver in the picture!

  2. cantonbound13 - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Suns clearly came out the clear winner in the deal. Milwaukee really got screwed.

    • bougin89 - Jul 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      What has Milwaukee done right this offseason? If they get Teague that will be a win because it will mean they got rid of Jennings and Ellis and went with a cheaper/better option(cheaper because they didn’t overpay/outbid themselves for either of those two). IF that happens that will be their only positive transaction.

      And this is coming from a Bucks fan.

      • whereyaat - Jul 12, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        If you look at who appears to be really tanking it this offseason, Mil is one of the first teams that comes to mind. Other candidates in the Wiggins lottery include: Bos, Sac, Phi, and maybe Was and maybe even Atl.

  3. dopekidz83 - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    So far I’m really liking what I’ve seen out of McDonough. I mean if you think about it, this trade NEVER would’ve happened with Lance Blanks at the helm.

  4. jerdogthompson - Jul 12, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    You will be missed in LA Eric.

    • adoombray - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:36 PM

      You guys are going to LOVE Jared Dudley. We’re all excited to land Len and Bledsoe this offseason, but we will miss our Junkyard Dog. Fan favorite doesn’t even come close.

      The best thing about this article is it sounds Beasley isn’t going to be the starter anymore. God, do we hate Michael Beasley.

  5. mickdamill - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    I’ve stuck with the Suns during our tough times but I’m starting to get excited to watch them again.

  6. CaJonMcChicken - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    So you’re telling me the Suns had all those years of failure to end right back to the system we began with dantoni?

  7. djohnson11882 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    How exactly did the Bucks get “screwed” in this deal? Redick was an unrestricted free agent who already said he didn’t want to stay, so instead of him walking away and getting no compensation they wind up with 2 second round picks, one of which has already been used to bring a decent backup PG in Ridnour back. Really sounds like Hammond got hosed on that one!!!

  8. jimsjam33 - Jul 12, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Suns fans ,

    Eric Bledsoe is for real . You will love him because he is exciting on both sides of the ball . He can jump out of the gym and is so quick he could give ” faster than a speeding bullet ” Superman a run for his money . My dollar would be on Bledsoe . That being said , let’s talk about Caron Butler .
    A very streaky shooter who may or may not come to play every night . he is a step slower than most of the youngsters in the league and therefore is quite a liability on defense . In other words , he’s not Jared Dudley on the floor , but you will never find a nicer person to play on your team .

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. L. James (1993)
  2. D. Rose (1806)
  3. K. Bryant (1646)
  4. J. Smith (1562)
  5. K. Irving (1402)
  1. T. Thompson (1394)
  2. T. Wroten (1346)
  3. A. Davis (1311)
  4. F. Saunders (1250)
  5. J. Embiid (1248)