Eric Bledsoe during his time with the Clippers
|No. 2 – Phoenix Suns|
December 9, 1989 |
|Listed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Listed weight||195 lb (88 kg)|
|High school||Parker (Birmingham, Alabama)|
|NBA draft||2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18th overall|
|Selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2010–2013||Los Angeles Clippers|
|2012||→Bakersfield Jam (D-League)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
Eric Bledsoe (born December 9, 1989) is an American professional basketball guard who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the 18th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft and subsequently traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
In September 2010, it was reported that Bledsoe may have been ineligible to play his one season for Kentucky when discrepancies were found in his high school transcripts. The Alabama Public School System hired the independent law firm of White Arnold & Dow to investigate claims that one of Bledsoe's grades was improperly changed. His algebra grade had been changed from a C to an A, thus raising his GPA high enough that he was eligible for the NCAA.
Though the investigators concluded that the instructor's reasons for changing the grade were "not credible," and that a significant number of his high school grades were written over to reflect higher grades, the school board voted to allow the grade to stand, and the NCAA declared its investigation of Bledsoe's eligibility closed the following week.
Los Angeles Clippers (2010–2013)
On April 7, 2010, Bledsoe announced that he would forgo his final three seasons of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2010 NBA Draft. He was touted for his quickness, ball handling ability, and ability to hit the long ball. Bledsoe was picked 18th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder but was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. In his first season, he averaged 6.7 points and 3.6 assists and started 25 games. As a result, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. In his second season, due to the Clippers' acquisition of Chris Paul, he played only an average of 11 minutes per game, with only one start, and his stats dropped. In fact, during that season, he ended up being assigned to the Clippers' D-League affiliate team, the Bakersfield Jam. However, during his third season, his statistics ended up rising in spite of still being behind Chris Paul for most of the games that he played. Bledsoe would also end up participating in the 2013 All-Star Game's Slam Dunk Contest.
Phoenix Suns (2013–present)
On July 10, 2013, Bledsoe was traded to the Phoenix Suns alongside teammate Caron Butler in a three-way trade with the L.A. Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks that sent the Suns' Jared Dudley and the Bucks' J. J. Redick to the Clippers with two different second round picks going to the Bucks. On his opening night debut with the Suns, Bledsoe helped the team by getting 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists in a 104-91 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. In his second game with the Suns, Bledsoe hit his first ever game-winning shot in an 87-84 home victory over the Utah Jazz. Before the November 19, 2013 game against the Sacramento Kings, Bledsoe's shin collided with fellow teammate P. J. Tucker during practice. He would miss six games before returning with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals in a 112-101 victory against the Jazz on November 29, 2013. Bledsoe gained a career-high 28 points in a 116-107 victory against the Sacramento Kings on December 13, 2013. Bledsoe also got his first double-double with the Suns by scoring 16 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and putting up 7 assists in a blowout 117-90 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on December 23, 2013.
During the third quarter of the Suns' last game of 2013 against the Clippers, Bledsoe injured his left shin. What began as a shin injury eventually turned into a meniscus injury that would leave him sidelined for nearly two and a half months. His injury was a leading factor in the Suns signing former player Leandro Barbosa back onto the team. Bledsoe returned to action on March 12, 2014 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He started for the Suns again and racked up 17 points and 10 rebounds two days later in an 87-80 victory against the Boston Celtics. He continued to start for the team throughout the rest of the season. On April 4, 2014, Bledsoe scored 30 points, setting a new NBA career high, in a 109-93 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
On June 27, 2014, the Suns extended a qualifying offer to Bledsoe, thus making him a restricted free agent. After months of deliberation and rumors concerning his future, Bledsoe and the Suns reached an agreement on a new five-year, $70 million contract on September 24, 2014. In the Suns' 2014–15 season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 29, 2014, Bledsoe recorded 16 points and nine assists before he drew his second technical foul and was ejected with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. Despite Bledsoe's ejection, the Suns went on to win 119-99.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- Solomon, Jon, and Leech, Marie (September 14, 2010). "Records differed on Eric Bledsoe's Birmingham prep grades". The Birmingham News. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- Solomon, Jon (September 28, 2010). "NCAA closes book on Bledsoe case". The Birmingham News. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- Brennan, Eamonn (September 24, 2010). "The strange ruling on Eric Bledsoe's grades". College Basketball Nation Blog. ESPN. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- Bledsoe Grade Change Questioned but Upheld
- Tipton, Jerry (April 8, 2010). "Five Cats declare for NBA Draft". Kentucky.com. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- "Suns Complete Deal for Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler". NBA.com. July 10, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- Notebook: Cavaliers 110, Suns 101
- "Suns Extend Qualifying Offers to Bledsoe, Tucker". NBA.com. June 27, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
- "Suns and Bledsoe Reach Multiyear Deal". NBA.com. September 24, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- "Eric Bledsoe, Suns reach $70M deal". NBA.com. September 24, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- "Suns rout Lakers 119-99 despite Kobe's 31 points". NBA.com. October 29, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014.