Phoenix Suns: Eric Bledsoe Using Grant Hill as Mentor, Preparing for Big 2013 Season

By Ryan Heckman
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This season is surely to be one of little to no expectations for the Phoenix Suns. While most believe they won’t make the playoffs, the team has used this offseason to the best of its ability in terms of building for the future. New head coach Jeff Hornacek was hired as a guy who could handle building on a youth movement, and that’s what the goal in mind is for now.

One of the pieces the Suns acquired over the summer was former Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe. Coming from a Clippers team loaded with veterans and plenty of depth, Bledsoe played on a relatively inconsistent basis. As a member of the Suns, that will change dramatically.

Bledsoe is looking forward to this season like none before and has been using the great Grant Hill as a mentor to prepare.

“The beauty is he’ll get an opportunity to show what he can really do,” Hill said according to AZCentral. “There was good and bad in playing behind Chris Paul. The good was he was going behind the best to see how he prepares, his mind-set and how he works. The tough part was not getting the consistent minutes. ‘Bled’ is going to show how good he is and what an asset he is in a lot of ways.”

What better guy to be mentored by in the city of Phoenix than the well-liked and savvy Hill? Bledsoe knows how fortunate he is to have the opportunity and has used this transition to become more mature as a player and person overall.

“As a young player, you want to play,” Bledsoe said. “I kept getting tired of the old saying, ‘Just wait your time.’ I know what they meant by it now. It was three years of it, and it definitely helped me mature a little bit.”

Bledsoe will surprise some people this year who may not have seen him play all that much previously. The kid is good at literally every aspect of the game as a point guard. He blocked more shots than any other point guard in the NBA last season, and next to Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday had the most offensive rebounds out of all point guards as well.

“I really didn’t get to play as much as I wanted to last year,” Bledsoe said. “People only saw me in spurts. They don’t see what happened in practice. I’m really looking forward to the season. I’m just looking to be better than I was last year and help my team by doing that.”

“He’s just oozing with potential and talent,” Hill said. “He was one of, if not the, biggest surprises for me for just how good he was. I didn’t realize how talented he was to know how he could dominate at both ends of the game.”

Like I said, the Suns probably won’t jump off the stat sheet every night, but Bledsoe will be one of them to do so individually. He could be in for an enormous season now having a huge role in the rotation.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.



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