Armstrong: The deals for Bledsoe, West and news on Gay

Jack Armstrong
7/3/2013 3:20:47 PM
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In his latest blog, TSN NBA Analyst Jack Armstrong looks at the latest offseason acquistions made and the rumour mill on Rudy Gay.

1. ERIC BLEDSOE (Suns): I love this acquisition for Phoenix.

I love his potential and like the fact that he's a two-way player with a good level of competitive spirit to him. He'll add some life to that team and set a good tone for them. I'm sure we'll see Kendall Marshall or Goran Dragic being moved after this trade. Bledsoe needs to play and get a chance to play thru his mistakes in order for him to get to the next gear. If Dragic stays, I could see them playing small ball with the two of them and make folks match them. Dragic was brought in by the previous administration, so all bets are off. Suns look like they're all in on Bledsoe.  Good pick up.                   

2. DAVID WEST (Pacers): There were lots of question marks when Larry Bird signed him a few years back coming off the knee injury in New Orleans. It was a gamble that paid off well for both sides.

He's a fierce competitor and fits their team beautifully. And it was done in a professional and understated fashion. This relationship works in many ways and it's good to see an organization that has gotten up off the mat after the 'Malice in the Palace' doing business the way they've done it for Years and Years in a decisive/basketball oriented way with true substance and minimal flash.                        

3. JJ REDICK & JARED DUDLEY (Clippers): I love these pickups by L.A.! They knew they couldn't hold on to Eric Bledsoe and there's nothing like having perimeter players that know how to play.

These two have terrific basketball sense and they're winners. Redick can stroke it and has better than adequate floor skills. And he'll compete defensively in spite of being a step slow. Dudley is a classic overachiever - I loved him at Boston College and he's been one of those guys that the stats are always a bit deceiving. He makes fundamentally sound plays and Doc Rivers will enjoy Coaching him.               

4. RUDY GAY (Raptors): There's rumors flying around that the Pistons would offer Toronto the expiring contracts of Rodney Stuckey and former Raptor Charlie Villanueva for Gay. I'm sure other teams with cap money to spend might try to get in on the action if Gay is going to be available.

Bottom line, a move with him and/or DeMar DeRozan will tell us lots about which direction Raptors GM Masai Ujiri is going to take this in his first year. Make a run at one of the three final playoff spots in the East that I think will be wide open for the taking (with the direction that the Celtics, Hawks and Bucks look like they're taking) or shed assets, gain future picks, acquire talented young players with favorable early contracts and improve the cap outlook with the goal of improving the chances of getting a transformative draft pick next June 2014.          

5. MIKE DUNLEAVY, JR (Bulls): I like this pickup for Chicago. He'll fit their system and I love his shooting ability and hoops IQ playing with this squad. He'll get lots of looks with Derrick Rose's penetration. He's a coach's son, gets the whole team concept and will be a reliable, efficient and steady player for them. A good teammate.

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