Earlier this week, Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns became the hottest player on the trade market after the player may have handed in his unofficial trade request on social media following the team's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Bledsoe sent out a simple and clear tweet after the Suns' 130-88 loss to the Clippers on Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles which read: "I don't wanna be here." Many believe this is his unofficial trade request.
It certainly is one way for a player to release their frustrations, but it's nothing we haven't seen before, as former Suns player Markieff Morris publicly demanded a trade from the team back in September 2015, resulting in him being fined $10,000 by the NBA for his actions.
However, when you look at how Bledsoe performed last season compared to how the Suns are doing this year, you can understand why he might want a trade away to somewhere new, as there were only six other players in the NBA that were able to match his averages during 2016-17.
Across only 66 games last season, the Suns' star averaged 21 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. According to Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders, Bledsoe was one of just seven players to average at least 21 points, four rebounds, and six assists last season, with the other six players being NBA All-Stars.
The other six players were Houston Rockets' James Harden, Golden State Warriors' Steph Curry, Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, and Washington Wizards' John Wall. That's quite some company.
With this in mind, if any team in the NBA wants to try and trade with Phoenix for Bledsoe, they may have to break the bank in order to acquire him. Last season wasn't a fluke either, as he was on pace to hit those numbers in the 2015-16 season, but he only played 31 games due to a torn meniscus in his knee which required season-ending surgery.
Health, therefore, will be a big factor in where Bledsoe goes if he is traded, but some teams may be willing to look beyond that in order to acquire him because of the statistics he can put up if he is able to play a full season.
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