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Jamal Crawford says there’s ‘no question’ Eric Bledsoe will be a star

Sep 5, 2013, 10:54 PM EDT

Eric Bledsoe, Jerryd Bayless AP

The Clippers loved what they got from Eric Bledsoe last season, an explosive 6’1″ guard who was dubbed “mini-LeBron” by none other than King James himself.

Bledsoe is still on his rookie contract, however, and at some point soon he’s going to get an extension commensurate with what he brings to the table. L.A. has Chris Paul in the fold, so Bledsoe was going to be hard-pressed to see an increased workload no matter how much continuous improvement he might have shown this season.

The Clippers traded Bledsoe to the Suns this summer, in a deal that netted them pieces more likely to fit around the talent in place. But at least one of Bledsoe’s former teammates in Los Angeles believes that the guard the team sent away has star potential in the future.

From Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld:

Jamal Crawford, who played alongside Bledsoe last season in Los Angeles and raves about his incredible growth, believes that the young point guard is poised for big things.

“He’ll be a star, no question,” Crawford said of Bledsoe. “The guidance and tutelage from Chris and Chauncey and Mo Williams, who was here before, only made him better as a point guard. He’ll definitely be a star. I don’t know when because everybody’s [learning] curve is a little bit different, but there’s no question he’ll be a star. He has the athletic ability and he wants to get better. He has gotten better. A team like that in Phoenix, they’re going to see great results. I think he’ll be exciting to watch too. He was a joy to play with and his growth last year was tremendous. You never want somebody to get hurt, but when Chris went down, Bledsoe stepped in and he did a heck of a job.”

Bledose averaged 8.5 points playing 20.4 minutes per game in 76 regular season appearances, but he put up legitimate numbers in the 12 games where he was a starter, posting averages of 14.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.5 steals.

Bledsoe was highly-coveted in the offseason, and it took the Suns initiating a three-team deal that involved the Bucks in order to be the club that ended up with his services. Defense is a question mark with Bledsoe, especially in a role as a starter playing heavy minutes. But all the tools are there for him to become a breakout player in the near future, and Crawford’s comments only hammer home that sentiment.

  1. dysraw1 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    always thought highly this kid even in college

  2. thenew013 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Hope he gets a better nickname because I doubt he wants to be known as “mini LeBron”. I know its not used as an insult but I hope he has a great year and makes a better name for himself.

  3. 00maltliquor - Sep 6, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Can’t wait to see him ball out of control along side Dragic as the starting SG. Make the Clippers realize what they should have done and slap themselves for trading him!

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 6, 2013 at 2:04 AM

      I think it was a smart trade. He was never going to take the starting PG role from Paul, and he wasn’t the outside shooter they needed at the 2 spot. They got Redick (ok) and Dudley (awesome) for a player that certainly had value, just not as much to the Clippers. They also got rid of Caron Butler (old and not that good anymore). I think Bledsoe will be really good for the Suns, so good trade all around.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 6, 2013 at 2:22 AM

        I do agree with you on all that. But at the end of the day a great player is a great player, regardless of fit. At the very least in 3 years we will all be saying “they gave up Bledsoe for, for……..JJ Redick??? No disrespect to Redick though. Plus CP3 stay with nagging injuries, so there’s that for what it’s worth.

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        Dudley was the real catch. Redick is just a nice bench shooter.

      • imakcds - Sep 8, 2013 at 9:54 PM

        you put it so well: they GOT RID of Butler.
        didn’t even bother to tell him, email, text, NOTHING.

    • marcuspokus - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      The Clippers were going to lose him eventually, he would have not been a good fit at SG alongside Paul so they turned him into players that would fit the mold of they are trying to build in Lob City, which is a contender. They made a great trade, Reddick is a good role player that fills that void they’ve been having at SG for the last couple of years and Dudley is an extremely underrated forward who plays hard on both ends of the court, knows his role and shoots a pretty good percentage from beyond the arc. I don’t see the clippers lamenting this trade years from now, what they will probably lament is giving that contract to Jordan if he doesn’t shape up his defensive game this season.

  4. adamsjohn714 - Sep 6, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    quality player + tons more minutes + being on a bad team = lots of shots = lots of points = star player.
    Good luck to him, though. He’s pretty good and very fun to watch.

  5. dougmanoh - Sep 6, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    Defense isn’t a question mark with him! He was one of the reasons why the Bench Mob was the best defensive squad in the league. They only allowed 90 points per 100 possessions which bested all benches and most starting squads. He also tormented the opposing point guards with full court and half court pressure. A big reason why he had 2.5 steals per game!

    • money2long - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:30 AM

      he wasn’t bad at blocking a shot neither

  6. banggbiskit - Sep 6, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    I wasnt too happy losing this guy, players like this don’t grow on trees. But, a guy like this needs to be a starting PG in this league, he’s ready, so i can’t be selfish and want him to be CP3’s backup for the next few years, advanced stats geeks know what kind of player this guy is, the numbers don’t lie.

    • money2long - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:36 AM

      no player grows on trees. although, rumor has it michael beasley evolved from cannabis

  7. butchvapor - Sep 6, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Bledsoe’s skills on a team like the Suns will be fun to watch. Get ready play some minutes, because I don’t see any reason to take him off the floor. Sarver made a deal that Suns fans are going to love. Their payroll is low, and Bledsoe is in a great position to turn this into something positive for everyone in Phoenix, especially himself.

  8. BigBeachBall - Sep 6, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    I think the Buss’s, Sterling, and Sarver all play golf at the same country club.

    Talk about swapping players in the cigar room.

  9. rjlink1 - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    I have a somewhat contrarian view of Bledsoe. He succeeds because of tremendous athleticism (which makes him really fun to watch), but I’m not convinced that he’s anything more than an average player in other phases of the game. I’m willing to see what he can do with starter’s minutes in Phoenix though.

  10. marcuspokus - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Bledsoe will be very fun to watch. He is incredibly athletic, plays hard and gives great effort on the defensive end. Once he develops a nice 3pt stroke and plays more under control on the offensive end, he will be a forced to be reckoned with.

  11. tigger369 - Sep 9, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Why is he going to be a star? Why do so many players, gm’s, fans get so seduced by athleticism? Eric Bledsoe is an undersized shooting guard. He has NO point guard skills, and he can barely shoot to save his life. Does anyone remember what a point guard looks like, Isiah Thomas, John Stockton and a little fellow named Chris Paul!? Bledsoe has none of their instincts or play making ability. Bledsoe is a great defender, but at best he is a back up point guard. He reminds me of a more athletic Rodney Stuckey, but with less offensive game, and even less point guard skills. And that is not saying much.

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