According to Darren Wolfson of ESPN, the Phoenix Suns have decided on the assets to make a trade offer to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Phoenix is apparently willing to give up Eric Bledsoe, Dragan Bender, and a future 1st round pick for Kyrie Irving. Rumors on Irving to the Suns have been swirling for weeks now following the Kyrie trade request. It’s possible Cleveland still keeps their star point guard, but at this time it seems unlikely he’ll be with the team for training camp.
After announcing his preferred destinations of New York, San Antonio, Minnesota, and Miami, Irving has since said that he will not commit to any team, for sure, once he is traded. Many believe this has hurt his trade value and the Cavs, who will now likely get less back for Kyrie than before. Despite this, the Suns seem very interested in trading for the PG, though have made a few of their young players untouchable for Cleveland. Both Devin Booker and Josh Jackson are seemingly off limits via trade and for good reason. Phoenix is, however, happy to trade other core pieces, Eric Bledsoe and Dragan Bender. Along with a pick, this is a pretty nice trade package, but will the Cavs accept it?
Eric Bledsoe would be great for Cleveland, as he is a far superior perimeter defender compared to Irving, possibly a slightly better passer, and has a fantastic relationship with LeBron James. He isn’t nearly as explosive or crafty as Irving though, and Kyrie’s unguardable penetration and slashing are what the team could really miss. Bledsoe has some qualities that are ahead of Irving, but Kyrie is clearly the better point guard and has shown himself to be able to deliver in the clutch in important playoff games, something Bledsoe doesn’t have too much experience with, and coming to a team like Cleveland could mean it will be a new environment for him come playoff time.
Dragan Bender has all the potential in the world, though entering his rookie season last year with low expectations, he still disappointed. The 19-year old averaged 3.4 ppg and 2.4 rpg last season for the Suns. No one expected him to come out and be Porzingis, but his play did not reflect where he was taken in the draft well. He certainly has value and could be a trade piece, but it would be shocking if the Cavs accept a trade with Bledsoe’s partner being Bender.
Really, this is just a rumor and if offered, will not likely be accepted. The Suns could eventually be the team Irving is dealt to, but Cleveland surely would love to add one of the Suns new star wingers to pair with LeBron in the land, and we’ll have to see if Phoenix is willing to take the risk of giving up an all-time talent for possibly a 2-year All-Star rental.