As we all know, the Los Angeles Lakers have absolutely nothing to play for as we head down the stretch of the season, with most of the interest turning to what moves the front office will make during the summer. The Lakers play host to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night where they will get to take a look at pending restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe.
The term “restricted” in the case of NBA free agency means the player’s incumbent team can match any offer by the rest of the field. Phoenix has went on record saying they will match any offer for Bledsoe, but talk is cheap, evidenced by their owner Robert Sarver having a history of cutting costs in favor of paying for premium talent. I fully expect Bledsoe to shred Los Angeles’ defense on Sunday as the Lakers have shown no resistance in defending the paint.
The fourth-year combo guard out of Kentucky is lightning quick, particularly in splitting defenses in the pick and roll, something the Lakers haven’t had at their disposal in a long time. He had been injured for 33 games (knee surgery) before returning on March 12, proceeding to lead Phoenix to an 8-2 record. The Lakers have plenty of cap room this summer, so they will be one of the major players trying to pry the former Los Angeles Clipper from Phoenix.
Considering this team desperately needs an elite point guard, don’t be surprised if the Lakers go all in and try to call Sarver’s bluff. Bledsoe has greatly improved his perimeter shot the last two years, raising his three point-percentage to a much more respectable number. No doubt the 24-year-old has proved his doubters wrong who were hesitant he could thrive without the guidance of Chris Paul. Look for a big night from him on Sunday as he showcases his talent to Lakers brass.