Dylan Piccolo –
Eric Bledsoe’s arrival in Milwaukee is a telling move that the Bucks believe that they are one point guard away from being a serious contender in the East. With Cleveland struggling early and the loss of Gordon Hayward for the Celtics, there hasn’t been a team to truly take the reins in the wide-open Eastern Conference. The addition of Bledsoe gives Milwaukee a creative point guard that should allow Giannis and Khris Middleton more ease in getting shots. There will be an adjustment period for the Bucks offensively as Bledsoe, who is used to having the ball in his hands, will have to relinquish the control of the ball mainly to Giannis. If Bledsoe can take his ability to break down opponents off the dribble and use it to create more motion within the offense it will be a huge boost for a Milwaukee team that rely’s heavily on iso creation from Giannis and Middleton.
You should see an immediate impact from Bledsoe although on the defensive end of the floor for the Bucks. Struggling mightily this season giving up points, Bledsoe’s length, quickness, and tenacity should give Milwaukee a viable defensive matchup against the top guards in the Eastern conference. Bledsoe absolutely helps the Bucks elevate in the East to one of the top teams, but time will tell whether the move creates a drastic enough improvement that will turn into playoff series victories. Bucks fans should be excited that GM Jon Horst is made this move, but lets pray that chemistry can be formed between The Greek Freak, Middleton, and Bledsoe.
Andrew Goodman –
The Milwaukee Bucks addition of point guard Eric Bledsoe certainly bolsters their chances of coming out of the East. He adds much more stability to the Bucks point guard situation. He excels in transition, and should provide ample fast break opportunities for the Bucks. He’s not the best perimeter shooter, but he more than makes up for it with his ability to get to the rim at will.
He will open up more looks on the perimeter for shooters like Khris Middleton and Tony Snell. Milwaukee now has the luxury of shifting Malcolm Brogdon to the bench, or Tony Snell which helps stabilize Milwaukee’s inconsistent bench play. Greg Monroe was great for the Bucks, and he will be missed. Milwaukee got a steal.
Alexander Juneau –
The Bucks Eric Bledsoe trade will be one that highly impacts this season. Moose was expected to be a key fixture on the bench and while his play this season has been lackluster, it is scary for the Bucks to be relying on the Thon & John duo at center. Bledsoe himself will be an intriguing fit, hyper athletic but subpar from 3 is his scouting report in a nutshell. That said his 3 point percentage might look better playing next to a true star, because currently he generates a lot of his own looks from 3 off the dribble. Bledsoe likely will make his debut this Friday at San Antonio, I am curious how long it takes him to get into the starting lineup.
Kidd has some experience convincing talented guys to come off the bench in his brief time as the head coach. I expect that Brogdon will be the starter to make the transition to the bench, Snell needs the creation of the starting lineup to be a truly valuable piece. Brogdon and Bledsoe could definitely coexist for stretches though and could be an interesting closing backcourt.
John Turner –
As the Bucks stumbled out of the gate to an ugly 4-6 start, many Bucks fans prematurely started to hit the panic button. Questions about the long-term viability of the core, sprinkled with the constant criticism of Jason Kidd made for a very critical couple of weeks. Those concerns were swiftly brushed to the side by news of the Bucks receiving Eric Bledsoe in return for the expiring contract of Greg Monroe, a first and a second round pick. Bucks Twitter, a fairly divided bunch, basked in unanimous joy over the indisputable win that saw the Bucks add a valuable piece to their young core while only giving up the expiring contract of Greg Monroe and two non-lottery draft picks. The Bucks core now shakes out like this: Giannis (22 yr old), Khris Middleton (26), Jabari Parker (22), Malcolm Brogdon (24), Thon Maker (20), and now Eric Bledsoe (27). Let’s just say if I were playing 2k MyGM, I’d be giving myself a pat on the back right about now.
Building a team is only half the battle though. Now comes the time to see if the pieces can all come together and produce winning basketball. As of the loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, the Bucks sport the 9th best offense and the 2nd worst defense. Yes, you read that correctly; a team that features Giannis, Khris, Snell, Brogdon and Henson (all + defenders) as their crunch time unit is one of the worst in the league. Bledsoe is a good defender but he is far from solution needed to take this potential laden defense to the top. Once the defense finds its form Bledsoe’s 7 ft. wingspan should blend perfectly with Milwaukee’s lengthy defense. On offense Bledsoe provides the Bucks with another weapon and playmaker to help take the load off of Khris Middleton who is better served as shot maker rather than a playmaker. It will be interesting to see how the combination Brogdon and Bledsoe will play out but Kidd seems to like having two ball handlers in the backcourt so I doubt there will be an issue playing both at the same time. All in all Bledsoe adds another talent to the promising Bucks core and could potentially be the piece that takes the Bucks to a new level.