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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Eric Bledsoe Struggles in Return to Los Angeles

Joe Camporeale - USA TODAY Sports

Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have been connected to Eric Bledsoe as a possible destination for the restricted free agent in the offseason. Bledsoe, despite a midseason injury, has had a strong year for the very surprising Phoenix Suns. He has emerged from his backup role into a starting position, and has shown that he is capable of playing both on and off the ball.

Bledsoe is looking for a large contract, and the Lakers have a good chunk of money to give out this offseason. Bledsoe has been nicknamed “Mini-Lebron”, and is one of the most athletic guards in the NBA. He is a great defender, and was able to learn the position from Chris Paul. He has proved this season that he can be a go-to player on a contending team, and deserves to be paid as such.

Yet against a Lakers team that is void of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball, Bledsoe put up a subpar game. The management obviously has years of scouting reports on him, but playing poorly certainly does not increase his chances of securing a larger contract from the Lakers. He had four turnovers and only made one field goal all game. He never got into the rhythm of the game, and even struggled to keep up with the backcourt of the Lakers.

The Lakers as a whole played very well, and were able to contain the explosive backcourt of Goran Dragic and Bledsoe, something they have not done all year. While a small sample size, it does give the Lakers something to think about when deciding if they should pursue Bledsoe during the offseason. For Bledsoe, if he is hoping to return to Los Angeles, he must improve upon this outing.