Fantasy Impact of the Eric Bledsoe Trade
By Rocco Minsk Two weeks after the Phoenix Suns sent Eric Bledsoe home in the wake of his request to be traded, the Suns dealt him to the Milwaukee Bucks for Greg Monroe and a first round pick, a deal which shakes up the fantasy basketball landscape. Below is our analysis of the fantasy impact of the trade
John Henson – (Stock Up) – Henson may be the biggest winner of the trade. For years, Jason Kidd has been vacillating between Henson and Monroe at the center spot and now the Bucks seem to have made their decision. Henson’s ceiling seems to be 30 MPG, but even with a minute count in the high 20s, Henson can pile up rebounds and blocks. Don’t count on many points, but 9 RPG and 1.5 BPG is likely.
Thon Maker (stock slightly up) – Maker is not yet a viable fantasy option, but with Monroe’s minutes freed up, gets to continue his long road to developing as an NBA player. He is not an add in redraft formats because of efficiency issues, but is a solid hold in dynasty league. Kidd is not entirely sold on Henson and Maker may eventually be the beneficiary.
Eric Bledsoe (stock down) Bledsoe is no longer the number one option on an offense. He will take time from Tony Snell, but has to share the ball with Khris Middleton and the Greek Freak. His days of averaging 20 PPG are over and if a bloated contract and a low first round picks are how the Bucks value him, it is hard to see him having a starring role in this offense. Plus, he is almost 28 with a long injury history. People may run to pick him up because he is playing on a good team, but don’t forget why a good team is good – it already has the good players.
Malcolm Brogdon (stock unchanged) – Brogdon’s supremacy in the backcourt has been solidified this season and Bledsoe’s presence in the backcourt will not impact Brogdon’s minutes or opportunities. If anything, Bledsoe’s presence could give Brogdon a bump in assists.
Greg Monroe (stock slightly up) Let’s face it, Monroe’s stock has nowhere to go but up. But for those rushing to add Monroe with outsized expectations, bear in mind that Suns have a crowded frontcourt. The organization still favors the corpse of Tyson Chandler and Alex Len is there too. Nobody in the frontcourt whose name is not T.J. Warren logs starter’s minutes and Monroe is not good enough to be the exception to that rule. The Suns are trying to develop Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender so it is hard seeing a lumbering player like Monroe taking minutes at the 4, meaning he will have to play at the 5. Don’t expect Monroe to be the force that he once was –keep the expectations more tempered, maybe around 20 MPG because the Suns have a crowded frontcourt.
Alex Len (stock down) I have often wondered why the Suns don’t unleash Len on the league given the occasional outburst he has when he gets extended playing time. Even though he is only 24, Len is at the point where he should have been handed the keys to the center spot and he hasn’t which calls into question now whether he will ever be more than a reserve in the league.
Marquese Chriss/Dragan Bender (stock unchanged) – Given the Suns’ system, it is hard to see Monroe slotting into the 4 so the competition for minutes amongst these two at the 4 should continues.
Tyler Ulis (Stock Up) While Mike James is an obvious winner, getting to keep his newfound relevance and playing time, he is also 27 an can’t shoot worth a lick. Ulis can’t shoot either, but he is seven years younger with more upside as he showed during his extended playing time at the end of last season. I believe that by the end of the season, Ulis will be starting in the backcourt besides Devin Booker (who this team belongs to at this point)
UPDATE (9:15 PM ET) : Early indications are that the Suns will either buy out or flip Monroe’s expiring contract. If anything, getting Monroe into a better situation will enhance his value even more. This also will negate some of the negative influence on Alex Len