Houston Rockets buy-low candidate #3: Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe has become a victim of his own success in many ways. When a player is labeled a playoff choker it is the laziest form of analysis. It’s basically saying, “You’re good, but you’re not the best.”
If you’re a starter on a team that wins the most games in the league back-to-back years and make two All-Defensive teams in that stretch then you’re by definition a good player. Eric Bledsoe is that player and while his playoff exploits have been much maligned it completely discredits the work he did to simply make it that far.
The Rockets will likely move on from Victor Oladipo and with John Wall’s concerning injury history they would be wise to invest in more credible backcourt depth to keep the team competitive. Bledsoe hasn’t set the world on fire in New Orleans but he is being asked to play off the ball more than he ever has and has still remained productive.
What makes acquiring Bledsoe appealing for the Rockets is that the size of his contract won’t make him an expensive trade target. The Pelicans would be more than happy to get him off the books as they look to add players that fit their long-term timeline.
The Rockets wouldn’t view Bledsoe as a long-term building block due to his age but if he gets off to a hot start with them then he will have trade value around the league. One aspect of his contract that makes him appealing is that the final year of his deal is only guaranteed for $3.9 million, which means even if he flops he won’t saddle the franchise for the long haul.
As this season has shown, the Rockets need to build a deeper roster, and bringing in veterans to help shepherd the young players along has real value. Bledsoe might not be what he once was but he has the ability to make the Rockets better and, perhaps, help them land even more young talent.