Eric Bledsoe remains available in 2022 NBA free agency. The 32-year-old was a key rotation player for the LA Clippers last season before injuring his left Achilles tendon, getting traded to the Portland Trail Blazers and missing the rest of the season.
Plenty of teams make sense for Bledsoe. The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks could all use another veteran option off the bench. On those squads, though, Bledsoe would be competing with a lot of other players for backup minutes.
The best fits for Bledsoe are teams that are gunning for the playoffs. His career is on his last legs, so he should spend the rest of his playing days trying to win his first championship. To prove he does have muscles for a reason, he should look for a prominent bench role on a playoff team.
In 25.2 minutes per game last season, Bledsoe averaged 9.9 points, 4.2 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from deep. To maximize both him and a lineup in the best way possible, a team with a strong sixth man and/or collection of bench scorers would be his best bet.
The veteran point guard can still contribute at a decent level but will need the right supporting cast to make him a truly valuable rotation piece on a minimum contract. Here are the two teams that should sign Eric Bledsoe in free agency.
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Eric Bledsoe 2022 NBA free agency destinations
2. Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets need both a backup point guard and some help on defense. Bledsoe is the perfect free agent who is still available to satisfy both of those needs.
As a backup for LaMelo Ball, Bledsoe would just have to be a solid defensive presence. After the Hornets relied on Isaiah Thomas for more offense off the bench last season, they should consider leaning into a different direction for their reserves.
Bledsoe would have Kelly Oubre Jr. and potentially James Bouknight to lean on when facing bench units. He would get to focus on defense and playmaking while playing limited minutes. Even in spot minutes next to Ball when the Hormets need some more defense, Bledsoe could work.
Charlotte will always run through Ball but still need to find someone reliable to play behind him. Bledsoe has the talent to be just that, at least for this upcoming season.
1. Golden State Warriors
Although other teams may have bigger roles for Bledsoe, the Warriors are the best fit for the veteran guard. They have a spot in their rotation that he has a good shot to claim and would be one of the best teams to chase a ring with.
Golden State has a need for another bench guard following Gary Payton II leaving in free agency. Bledsoe would fill their need for a defensive guard, even though he most likely wouldn’t be as impactful as Payton.
The Warriors would easily be able to cover up Bledsoe’s offensive shortcomings because they have Jordan Poole, whose electric scoring made him a dangerous scorer off the bench last season. They also have Donte DiVincenzo to help on perimeter defense.
Golden State could use more bench pieces as they look to repeat as champions. Bledsoe could become a solid defensive option for the Dubs’ strong defense.