Being the backup for Chris Paul means not playing many minutes in the NBA. In those limited minutes, point guard Eric Bledsoe showed promise of being a quality starter in this league.
The 23 year old averaged 8.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists a game in only 20.4 minutes per contest. Those are pretty solid numbers in that amount of time.
Now that he has been traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Phoenix Suns, Bledsoe has a good opportunity to prove himself. The Suns are a young and bad team with lots of minutes to go around. Bledsoe will start and should get plenty of those minutes.
He is only 6-foot-1, but is incredibly athletic. He uses his physical gifts well by getting to the rim a lot. He shoots a solid 56.4 percent in the restricted area, sometimes ending in a spectacular dunk. The problem is that his shooting and ball handling really limit him offensively. He has slowly improved in his three years in the league, but is nowhere near the level he needs to be if he wants to be a true threat on offence.
On the other hand, defense is where Bledsoe excels. Even though he is short for an NBA player, he is really strong and quick. Because of this, he is able to stay in front of his opponents easily. Not only this, but he has quick hands, which resulted in him getting 1.4 steals a game — pretty impressive number for the amount of minutes he played.
It seems the Suns are intent on starting Bledsoe alongside current point guard Goran Dragic. His true position in this league will be point guard, but starting him at shooting guard is not a bad idea. He is strong enough to guard other shooting guards, and taking the pressure of running an offense off his back might be for the better while he continues to improve that part of his game.
Whatever the case is, Bledsoe is in a great situation. The Suns are not going to be good this year, but they have a lot of young guys. Bledsoe will be suiting up with guys like Dragic, twin forwards Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris, and 2013 fifth-round pick Alex Len.
Bledsoe has a chance to become a really good starter in this league, and maybe even more. Playing for a team in Phoenix that is in the process of rebuilding is the first step for him getting to where he wants to go.