The new guard

One scout breaks down the Suns PG Eric Bledsoe's game

Originally Published: November 5, 2013
ESPN The Magazine

Eric BledsoeBarry Gossage/Getty ImagesCan Eric Bledsoe live up to his nickname, "Mini LeBron"?

LONG CONSIDERED one of the NBA's best backup point guards, Eric Bledsoe is now the guy in Phoenix, with the chance to finally prove he's worth that whole "Mini LeBron" moniker. But is the former Clipper up for the challenge? We asked a scout to break down the 6'1" guard's game, then had our Insiders and Bledsoe respond.

The scout
Bledsoe has world-class speed and athleticism, but he still plays out of control too often. 1 He needs to slow down, make positive plays and limit the poor shot selection. 2 He's not a natural playmaker, and he's almost as likely to get an assist as he is to throw it into the stands. 3 He has an impressive body, but with his height, he needs to develop an in-between game 4 and tighten his handle. He's too casual with his approach with the ball. 5 He dramatically improved his shooting last season, 6 and he's got tremendous defensive potential, but his effort on that side of the ball is inconsistent. 7 Overall, his score-first mentality and athleticism are better suited for a sixth-man role. He's not a traditional floor general. 8