NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Knicks are considered a long shot to trade for disgruntled Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe as long as their young up-and-comers remain untouchable, according to a report.
The Suns are reportedly shopping the 27-year-old after he was sent home Monday. The move came after he sent a tweet Sunday saying, “Don’t wanna be here,” around the same time word was leaking that Phoenix had fired coach Earl Watson.
Basketball Insiders reported the Suns are looking for young players in exchange for Bledsoe and have asked the Knicks about rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina and 23-year-old center Willy Hernangomez. The rebuilding Knicks, however, are reportedly opposed to dealing either player or any future first-round picks.
Hernangomez has surprisingly seen limited minutes in the Knicks’ first two games, but that is not a sign the team is ready to move on from him, according to ESPN.
The Knicks inquired about Bledsoe’s availability during the offseason before signing veteran point guards Ramon Sessions and Jarrett Jack. The franchise views Ntilikina as its point guard of the future, but the 19-year-old needs time to develop.
Bledsoe played for Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek for 2 1/2 seasons when both were with the Suns.
“Eric’s a great player,” Hornacek told reporters after practice Monday. “He’s had a lot of success last year. He had success with us. I’m not over there, so I don’t know what’s going on.’’
Last season, Bledsoe averaged 21.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He’s under contract through next season and is owed $29.5 million.
Several teams are also reportedly interested in Bledsoe, including the Bucks and Nuggets.
The Knicks do have some potential trade pieces in center Kyle O’Quinn, small forward Lance Thomas and shooting guard Courtney Lee, but it’s not clear if the Suns have any interest in them.
Basketball Insiders reported that several teams have called the Knicks about O’Quinn.