Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky)
6'1, PG, 190
Bledsoe is the second best PG prospect in the draft, unfortunately for him, the best was teammate John Wall. As such, he had to play as a clutch role player on a talented team rather than as the primary focal point somewhere else. At 6'1, he has a chiseled build and is the second fastest player in the draft.
Bledsoe excels when pushing the ball in transition. He goes full steam to the hoop to score using his body to shield off shot-blockers or passing the ball out to open teammates. In the half-court, Bledsoe uses his explosive first step to attack the basket and has great finishing ability with a variety of layups and floaters at the hoop. At times, he gets erratic once in the lane, but it's nothing to be to alarmed about. Bledsoe, overshadowed by John Wall's play, is a great playmaker in his own right with great ball handling with either hand. He needs to improve on playing at varying speeds on the next level to continue to use his speed as a weapon.
While not bad, Bledsoe's as streaky as it gets shooting from the three point line. He goes off one game to make five or six then follows it up by shooting an 0-fer the next game. Bledsoe needs to improve his shooting consistency, and if he shoots in the mid 30s from the NBA three point line then he'll become a dangerous offensive player. If he can't add a solid outside shot, he'll be more limited on the offensive end. One concern is his 67% free throw percentage is awfully low for a guard.
Defensively, Bledsoe shuts down opposing point guards and can carry that ability to the next level. In fact, Bledsoe was the best defender on Kentucky's team last year. He possesses great front line and lateral speed and making him a disruptive force, stopping penetration or bodying them up physically. With his quick hands and long wingspan, he plays the passing lanes and picks the pocket of opposing guards.
How does he fit in the NBA?
I think he is an excellent pick at the next level as speed usually translates well. Bledsoe should be an on-the-ball stalwart defensively and offensively, the speed, at a minimum translates into an effective transition game. Learning the game better, playing at multiple speeds, and developing a consistent outside shot, will determine if he is a role-playing point guard or star at the next level.
Bledsoe should fall somewhere from late lottery to mid-first rounder. It is hard to compare Bledsoe to another NBA player, but maybe Kyle Lowry with a better jump shot.
How does he fit on the Bulls?
Honestly, Bledsoe probably will not slip this far when he keeps getting more workouts. However, he is a terrible fit next to Rose, other than being a backup. Bledsoe is a similar type player and his talents will be wasted next to him. However, if still available at pick 17 and players such as Paul George and Ekpe Udoh are off the board, he would be a solid pick in terms of future trade potential.