Monday afternoon, the Memphis Grizzlies and the New Orleans Pelicans agreed to what should be one of many trades to be made in the NBA over the next week or so.
New Orelans agreed to ship Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams, their No. 10 pick and No. 40 picks in this year’s draft, along with the Lakers’ 2022 first-round pick (Top-10 Protected) to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for big man Jonas Valanciunas, the No. 17 pick and No. 51 pick in this year’s draft.
New Orleans had been searching for ways to move either Bledsoe and Adams for months now and in this deal, they were able to move on from them both. The Grizzlies will likely look to keep Steven Adams to replace Jonas Valanciunas in their frontcourt, but Eric Bledsoe may never put on a Grizzlies uniform.
Whether they look to trade Bledsoe again or potentially look to buy him out of his contract, Eric Bledsoe is not expected to stay in Memphis according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. The 31-year-old guard finished up his 11th year in the NBA and the Pelicans were the fourth team Bledsoe has played for in his career.
In 71 games for the Pelicans during the 2020-21 season, Bledsoe averaged 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and shot 42.1% from the floor, 34.1% from three-point range. He has proven to still be a useful contributor, but does not appear to be the high-level, two-way stud he once was when he played with the Phoenix Suns from 2013-2017.
With the Grizzlies likely to look for ways to move Eric Bledsoe before this trade becomes official on August 6, there are a few teams who could be interested in pursuing the veteran guard. Let’s take a look at three teams who could look to add themselves to this Pelicans-Grizzlies trade to acquire Eric Bledsoe.
The Philadelphia 76ers have been getting better and better each year as a franchise and they claimed the 1-seed in the Eastern Conference for the first-time since 2001, but were unable to make it past the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The 76ers were defeated by the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and while there is chatter that they could look to trade Ben Simmons, the 76ers are going to be looking for ways to add more experienced talents to their team that can contribute on both ends of the court.
The 76ers’ backcourt was all over the place this past season, which is why they could possibly look to pursue Eric Bledsoe. They would likely have to move on from George Hill, who they acquired at the trade deadline, in order to make this trade work, but Bledsoe does seem to bring more to the table in terms of overall productivity than Hill.