Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe
28-Year-Old GuardG
Milwaukee Bucks
Injury Ribs
Est. Return 10/24/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
In his first full season with the Bucks, Bledsoe was selected to his first All-Defensive team. He ranked 14th in the NBA in total steals and racked up 13 games with at least three swipes. He also set a career high in field-goal percentage (48.4) while averaging 15.9 points, 5.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 29.1 minutes. Bledsoe's upside is somewhat capped given the presence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the point guard could be relied upon more this season given the departure of Malcolm Brogdon. With Brogdon off the court last season, Bledsoe gained 5.6 percent extra usage and averaged 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals per 36 minutes. While it's unclear if Bledsoe will see more time on the floor with Brogdon gone, it's certainly a possibility. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect huge improvements from Bledsoe in his age 30 season, but his role in the Bucks' offense seems as secure as ever. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $70 million contract extension with the Bucks in March of 2019.
Progresses to non-contact drills
GMilwaukee Bucks
October 16, 2019
Bledsoe (ribs) participated in non-contact drills Wednesday, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Bledsoe is working his way back from fractured cartilage between two of his ribs. while this is a step in the right direction for the point guard, his status for the regular-season opener on Oct. 24 in Houston remains up in the air.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Bledsoe spent just three games in Phoenix last season after being shipped to Milwaukee, where he started in all 71 of his appearances. He continued his work as a solid defender and scorer, averaging a combined 2.6 steals/blocks and 17.8 points on 47.6 percent shooting. While he’s not a top-tier three-point shooter (34.9 percent) he hit a career-high 1.7 threes per tilt last season. However, the 28-year-old still isn't much of a distributor, averaging 5.1 assists with the Bucks last year -- his lowest mark since 2012-13. Unless coach Mike Budenholzer drastically changes things, Bledsoe probably won't make strides as a passer this season considering the ball handling responsibilities of Giannis Antetokounmpo (and, to some extent, Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker). When on the court, Bledsoe is a top-30 player, though health concerns remain. By his standards, Bledsoe was healthy for the 2017-18 campaign, but is averaging just 59 games played since he became a full-time starter in 2013-14.
Bledsoe, who’s been injury prone throughout his career, played just 66 games last season due to knee soreness. A large chunk of his missed time came after coach Earl Watson opted to shut Bledsoe down for the remainder of the year on March 16 due to the team being well out of playoff contention. Bledsoe put together a quality season in the games he did play, however, posting 21.1 points, 6.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals across 33.0 minutes per game. He also shot 43.4 percent from the field and drilled 1.6 threes per game at a 33.5 percent clip. The 6-foot-1 point guard has always been lauded as a gritty hustle player and top-tier defender at the position, demonstrated by his aforementioned above average rebounding and steal numbers. While he’s somewhat turnover prone, averaging 3.4 per game last season, his general proficiency across the board helps make up for it. That proficiency also means Bledsoe is no stranger to stuffing the stat sheet for big games, as he recorded seven double-doubles and one triple-double during the 2016-17 campaign. He also put together 12 games with at least 30 points, 13 games with at least three steals and 23 games with at least one block. While there are certainly more efficient and/or traditional choices in Fantasy at the point guard slot, few offer the kind of well-rounded game Bledsoe does, especially on the boards and defense. Assuming Bledsoe can stay healthy, there’s no reason to believe he shouldn’t be a top-15 Fantasy point guard with sneaky top-10 potential.
In his sixth NBA campaign, Bledsoe seemed to be blossoming into a full-fledged star through the season’s first two months. The point guard was holding down career-high averages of 20.4 points, 6.1 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 three-pointers per game over 31 appearances until disaster struck in December. The point guard left a Dec. 26 game with a sprained left knee and was later revealed to have suffered a torn meniscus, which required season-ending surgery. With their best playmaker off the court, the Suns predictably went into free-fall mode, limping to a 23-59 finish. It was the second time in three years that Bledsoe had suffered a meniscus injury after having previously torn up the right knee in 2013-14, putting the onus on the 26-year-old to shed the ‘injury-prone’ label as he enters the upcoming season. By all accounts, Bledsoe has progressed well in the rehab process and was taking part in five-on-five work prior to training camp, so it doesn’t look like he’ll enter the season with any restrictions. Concerns about Bledsoe’s knee issues resurfacing are certainly warranted, but when he’s on the court, few fantasy point guards can stack up with him. Along with providing a bounty of counting stats, Bledsoe holds his own in the percentage categories with career marks of 44.7 percent from the field and 78.1 percent from the free-throw line. Those who are risk averse may want to stay away from investing an early-round pick or significant portion of their auction budget in Bledsoe, but his upside will surely be too tantalizing for some owners to pass up.
After signing a new deal last summer, Bledsoe enters 2015-16 as the face of a franchise that has seen considerable turnover in just a year's span. He began last season in a crowded, but talented, backcourt that also included Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, a three-point-guard experiment that ultimately floundered as Phoenix failed to take the next step in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. By season's end, Dragic and Thomas had been moved, as the Suns opted to go in a new direction, bringing in Brandon Knight from Milwaukee to be Bledsoe's running mate of the future. While injuries limited Knight to only 11 games in a Suns uniform, Bledsoe enjoyed a strong season, starting a career-best 81 games and averaging 17.0 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.2 rebounds in 35 minutes per game. Bledsoe shot 45 percent from the floor, a hair above his career average, but he took a slight step back from beyond the arc, converting only 32 percent of his three-point attempts. The Suns are one of the league's biggest mysteries heading into the season, especially given what's transpired with standout forward Markieff Morris, the team's second-leading scorer last season. If Morris' wish to be moved is granted, Bledsoe will be asked to take on an even greater offensive burden. He'll team with Knight to form one of the West's best young backcourts, and the pair figure to split playmaking and ball-handling duties. Knight is the better catch-and-shoot player, however, so Bledsoe figures to spend more time on the ball.
Bledsoe is entering his fifth year in the NBA and his second with the Suns. Despite missing 39 games to injury last season, Bledsoe put together some solid numbers when healthy. He averaged a career-best 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 33 minutes per game. Bledsoe shot an impressive 48 percent from the field on 12.9 attempts, 36 percent from beyond the arc on 3.3 attempts, and 77 percent from the free-throw line on 5.5 attempts per game. While he has not officially signed his free agent tender yet, the Suns are set to match any offer his receives, with the likely scenario being Bledsoe returns to Phoenix on a one-year deal. However, the possibility of a trade still looms, with the Suns' offseason acquisition of Isaiah Thomas lending credence to the belief that they're prepared to move on without offering Bledsoe a max or near-max deal. In any case, assuming he returns to Phoenix, Bledsoe will likely retain his starting guard spot, as well as the potential for some major production. He carries the potential to combine efficient scoring with elite-level steals numbers and sneaky rebound and assist totals. Injuries are a concern, but if healthy, Bledsoe is a candidate to have a big 2014-15 season.
Bledsoe has shown glimpses of big-time potential in his first three NBA seasons, but as a backup to Chris Paul on a very deep Clipper team, his opportunities to play were (rightfully) limited. That changes this season. Bledsoe was dealt to the Suns as part of the three-way deal that sent Caron Butler to Milwaukee and Jared Dudley to LA. On what promises to be a pretty bad Phoenix team, Bledsoe will get all the playing time he can handle. Is he up to the challenge? His per-36 numbers say yes – his averages last season would translate to 14.9 points, 5.1 assists and 5.0 boards on a per-36 basis. That's probably optimistic, but cut those totals by 15 or 20 percent and you'd still have a pretty good player. An important trend to watch: Bledsoe shot just under 30 percent from long range in his first two NBA seasons, but hit at a 40 percent clip last year. Improvement? Or a statistical aberration based on small sample size (just 31 makes on the year). Bledsoe is a point guard by trade, but it appears he'll start in the Suns backcourt alongside Goran Dragic as the nominal shooting guard.
The real question for Bledsoe in the upcoming season will be, “How much playing time is he going to get?” Bledsoe played only 11.6 minutes per game last season and though he didn’t put up superb numbers, coach Vinny Del Negro never really allowed him to get into a rhythm in the regular season. The postseason, however, was Bledsoe’s coming out party. Del Negro played him 17.2 minutes per game and the second-year guard averaged 16.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per 36 minutes. If Bledsoe continues to improve – and he’s only 22 – he could end up seeing plenty of more playing time in the upcoming season, especially considering he is probably the best perimeter defender on the roster.
This off-season wasn’t kind to the young Bledsoe. First, he had surgery on a torn meniscus in his knee, and will miss the beginning of the season. And now he has not just one, but two veteran guards in front of him on the depth chart. Unless injury strikes, or either Chauncey Billups or Mo Williams gets traded, then there is no reason to draft Bledsoe in 2011-12.
Bledsoe was drafted for his talent and potential as a future point guard in the NBA, but he isn’t likely to contribute much for the Clippers this season. He’s a great shooter, but he turns the ball over too often and is an unproven facilitator.
More Fantasy News
No fractured bones
GMilwaukee Bucks
October 11, 2019
Bledsoe (ribs) did not fracture any bones and is instead dealing with fractured cartilage between two of his ribs, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
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Out 2-to-3 weeks
GMilwaukee Bucks
October 11, 2019
Bledsoe will miss the next 2-to-3 weeks with a small fracture in his ribs, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Injures oblique
GMilwaukee Bucks
October 9, 2019
Bledsoe exited Wednesday's game against the Jazz early due to an oblique strain, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
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Improved performance in tough loss
GMilwaukee Bucks
May 24, 2019
Bledsoe totaled 20 points (6-14 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 6-6 FT), four rebounds, and two assists in 34 minutes during Thursday's 105-99 loss to Toronto.
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Struggling in East Finals
GMilwaukee Bucks
May 22, 2019
Bledsoe posted five points (2-7 FG, 1-2 FT, 0-2 3Pt), three rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes Tuesday in the Bucks' 120-102 loss to the Raptors in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
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