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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers Would Be Wise to Offer Eric Bledsoe Contract

Joe Camporeale - USA TODAY Sports

Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

Poing guard Eric Bledsoe will be a restricted free agent this summer, and will be looking to cash in on a breakout season. A new team and an increase in minutes allowed him to truly show off his talents, and his versatility in playing both on and off the ball. The Los Angeles Lakers need to upgrade their backcourt, and Bledoe’s defensive prowess and slashing ability would fit really well next to the aging veterans on the team. The Lakers would be wise to offer to Bledsoe and hope that it isn’t matched.

Bledsoe spent three years learning behind Chris Paul in Los Angeles. He demonstrated outstanding athletic ability, but there were questions about his size and outside shooting, leading to an eventual trade. There was no doubting his potential and, despite injuries, he proved last season that he is now an emerging star.

He more than doubled his scoring and averaged almost six assists a game. He played both on the ball and off the ball, and succeeded in both scenarios. He shot almost 48 percent from the field, despite seeing a large increase in shots taken. Bledsoe displayed the confidence necessary for him to take the next step, and he will continue to improve his game.

Bledsoe is known more as a slasher with an exceptional ability to finish at the rim despite his size. He is extremely strong and quick with the ball, and has greatly improved his shooting. The Lakers need an explosive player, something Bledsoe can provide.

He is also arguably the best on-the-ball defender at the guard position. He possesses elite athleticism, and is strong enough to guard bigger players. He has surprising length and can even challenge shots at the rim. He can disrupt an offensive flow with timely steals and momentum-changing blocks.

Bledsoe is still extremely young, and would be a great signing by the Lakers. He would inject youth and quickness into an aging core, and is on his way to becoming a star in the league. He has the potential to become one of the best two-way guards in the league, and would help the Lakers become competitive again.