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UPDATED: Suns, Bledsoe about $32 million apart on new contract

Jul 17, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

UPDATE 6:45 pm: These sides aren’t just a little apart, they are Eliza Dushku and Rick Fox apart. From Chris Broussard of ESPN, who had the original report:

As we note below, Bledsoe’s problem is a lack of leverage. No other team has offered that because they expect the Suns will just match, but Phoenix isn’t just going to give Bledsoe the max. His only option is to play for the qualifying offer ($3.7 million) and be an unrestricted free agent next summer. But for a guy with a long injury history, that is a huge risk.

2:59 pm: Eric Bledsoe is the best free agent still out on the market. It’s not close.

Still there is nothing.

The Hornets stepped early in free agency and tried to steal restricted free agent Gordon Hayward away fro the Jazz, but Utah matched the max offer. Dallas stepped up and did poach restricted free agent Chandler Parsons away from Houston with three years and $46 million.

Restricted free agent Bledsoe still sits on the sidelines.

No team has made him a max offer, in part because it was assumed the Suns would just match it. But without that leverage Bledsoe is having trouble getting a deal he likes with the Suns, reports Chris Broussard at ESPN.

The future of one of the most talented free agents left on the market remains cloudy, as Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns remain far apart in contract talks, according to sources close to the situation.

Bledsoe’s representatives have been engaged in discussions with Phoenix, but the Suns’ offer is far below what Bledsoe is looking for.

The Suns are deep at point guard — Bledsoe, Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and just drafted Tyler Ennis. They could afford to move Bledsoe in a sign-and-trade, but so far nothing has come to fruition.

It’s a situation to watch, but Bledsoe’s problem now is not many teams have cap space to go after him and so he lacks the leverage to get the kind of deal he wants.

  1. 2016olympics - Jul 17, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Houston seems like a good fit.

    • apkyletexas - Jul 17, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      Houston would be perfect.

    • Hard On For Harden - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      We don’t have the necessary cap space

    • JHathwell - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      Not really. harden is already the PG there. Rockets need a PG that just defends and hits open threes, more or less.

  2. milimpilim - Jul 17, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Come on, Kupchak, poison pill the Suns!

  3. sportsfan18 - Jul 17, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    The Heat have spent their money but they still have no point guard and he would have been a good fit for them.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      Napier is gonna smack a lot of you guys upside the head for dismissing him in 2015. Just watch.

  4. shanelsweet - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    Maybe not this guy, but at some point, somebody’s going to take the QO and come back next year unrestricted. Even more so next year ’cause the new CBA negotiation is already becoming an issue. Put me down now for a player loyalist. I’ve got no reason to support anything billionaires want to do. I like watching HS basketball too much for that BS.

    • jetsfaninindy - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:34 PM

      He is good. But he is the second best PG on his team. He is lucky to get the $12 mill
      a year offer.

      • 1friendofthepeople - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        The problem is there are other teams that value his worth much more than that $12 million/per price tag. He shouldn’t take less just because the Suns have another quality point guard. Phoenix is flush with cap space. He’ll be fine if he doesn’t take a hometown discount–according to the current market–.

  5. rrhoe - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    While a very good player Bledsoe is not the “max” player that he thinks that he is.

    • kinggw - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      He’s more of a max player than the guys given max deals the summer.

      • rrhoe - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:33 PM

        Based on a whopping 43 games played with them you think he deserves the max.

      • rrhoe - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        And also his whopping 8.7 pts/gm career average……

      • kinggw - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        Somebody lacks reading comprehension. I never said he deserves the max, because he doesn’t.

        I said he’s more of a max player than the guys given max deals this summer like Hayward and Parsons. Bledsoe offers a skill set you don’t find with many point guards. Conversely the guys I mentioned are wing players who don’t offer anything special and they got paid.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        @ rrhoe

        you do realize that for his career he’s only averaged playing 22 min’s a game right?

        due to how little the Clippers used him.

        look up how much he scores based on 36 min’s of court time and you’ll see it’s more than 8 points

        he played 32 min’s a game this past season and averaged 17.9 points a game.

        stats per 36 min’s are much better as they neutralize stats between players better

        he averaged 19.2 points per 36 min’s this past season.

        his PER this past season was 19.6 or a tad below 20 which is considered all-star level

        his true shooting percentage this past season was .578% which is above very good. .550% is very good and flew past that.

        kid plays D too, very well.

      • rrhoe - Jul 18, 2014 at 7:18 AM

        @kinggw & sportsfan18 & 1friendofthepeople:

        I see all your points and he is a very good player and his improvement has been immense. But Bledsoe had let it be known even while with the Clippers that he wanted a max contract and that’s why it didn’t suprise me when Doc came in that he was on the trading block. Yes,he had a good season when healthy but his body of work is only 43 gms,with a new team,so I’ll call it more of a “breakout” season. As for Hayward and Parson’s they had the one thing that Bledsoe hasn’t received,another team to make an offer sheet,and I don’t think it’s no coincidence that no one’s offered him one.

      • mickdamill - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        To me max contract guarantee’s you a spot to instantly compete for a title, which I’m sorry but Bledsoe will not bring the Suns to that next level. I’m not a fan of paying guards max, in fact in the history of the NBA a team has never won a title with their PG making more than everyone else on the team.

    • 1friendofthepeople - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:19 AM

      He’s worth closer to the max than $12 million per.

      He has improved every single season he’s been in the league. He has developed a good three point shot, he’s definitely a better shooter than Westbrook, he has Westbrook like athleticism and defensively he keeps improving his already good defense.

      The man is getting paid.

      • 1friendofthepeople - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:23 AM

        I should clarify–taking into account the way the salary cap is increasing he’s going to get paid–. Even if right now he might not be worth it. Contracts are only going to get bigger from here on out.

  6. meane56 - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    Why does Eric & his agents feel he is worth a max deal? What has he actually done? How many games has he started? How many games has he been out injured? How many times has he injured the same knee? There is no doubt he has potential. However, until he proves it by actually playing a full season and leading his team to the playoffs, then there is no need to sign him to max money.

    • kinggw - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      Because he’s far better than guys like Parsons and Hayward.

      • muhangis - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        I agree King. He is worth much more of a max than Parsons or Hayward

    • 1friendofthepeople - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:29 AM

      He’s going to get an offer closer to the $16 million than the $12 million the Suns low balled him with.

  7. duhwighthoward - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    You know what’s weird? I watched him his rookie season. He was a starter, got plenty of time, and wasn’t very impressive. It seemed like he had a hard time getting off his own shot and he was a poor shooter.

    Now all of a sudden he’s explosive and can shoot?

    Is the real Bledsoe the guy who’s about to sign a huge contract or the one Doc Rivers traded for Jared Dudley?

    • paleihe - Jul 17, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      Don’t compare him to his rookie season. He’s light years better now.

      His 3pt shooting has improved, he can get to the basket, and is a fantastic defender at the PG position. In my opinion though, he deserves a Steph Curry type contract. You know he’s capable of earning much more, but due to injury concerns, he shouldn’t get max deal.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:57 PM

        And the Steph Curry contract of $12 million per year is what the Suns are offering him.

        Good call on that. It’s hard to offer a 5-year max contract to a player who has never started over 70 games in a season.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:57 PM

        (He’s played over 70 games twice in his career, but he was a backup both times)

      • paleihe - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:59 AM

        I missed my calling as a GM.

    • muhangis - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:20 PM

      That was his rookie year, and this is now. Guys improve over time duhh!! Are you always going to hold Kobe Bryant always to what he did his rookie year???

      *some of the comments on here.. jeesh

      • duhwighthoward - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:51 PM

        You make a solid point.

        Yet now that I think about it, Yes, I still hold Kobe responsible for singlehandedly sabotaging the Lakers in the playoffs his rookie year.

  8. lazegowizfan95 - Jul 17, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    I said this about 2 months ago and i’ll say it again he should go to the Bucks they have great young talent over there he would fit perfectly and he could be there leader at the point.

  9. loubearkane - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Boston gave Avery Bradley 4 years 32M so can see where he’s coming from. He’s know Phoenix already has his future replacement in line with Tyler Ennis

  10. katra2logic - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Latrell Sprewell…

  11. gildaymonster - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    “About 22 Million” give or take 10 Million…

    Check your math, Homie. Especially in a headline. I knew you were a terrible writer but now we can add math to the list.

  12. campcouch - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    The Suns aren’t exactly hurting for guards right now. He should swallow his ego and work a 2 year deal with a team needing PG help. Work to turn that into a max later.

    • campcouch - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:42 PM

      my bad,forgot he was a RFA

  13. csbanter - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    Is his agent Masta p ? On a team with PGs falling out its a$$ Bledsoe wants more dough. Suns should rescind their offer and trade him in Feb.

  14. djshnooks - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    Tyler Ennis will steal that job soon enough.

    No need to waste that much on Bledsoe.

    • muhangis - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:29 AM

      I think Ennis could very well possibly end up a bust. Just saying it’s a substantial possibility.

  15. jadaruler - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Re-sign him for 5/72 and trade him next off season.

  16. haaaaasoooooo - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    The bucks will take him. He is an injury liability with those “Brandon Roy” knees, but they should still gamble on him. He is a hard nosed player who has not hit his offensive ceiling yet. And he could make their roster really really legit. (Then get Jameer as the backup) call me when you want some sound advice John Hammond!

  17. 00maltliquor - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Hayward and Parsons really messed things up for the Suns, cause if they get max, whatchu think Bledsoe is gonna be expecting!?

  18. ufools - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    He’s a good pg…..but MAX deal???? Haven’t earned that yet.

  19. kavika6 - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    That clown really thinks he something else.

  20. highsociety921 - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:29 AM

    Why aren’t the Orlando Magic inquiring about him?

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:11 AM

      1) Elfrid Payton
      2) He’s not old enough. The Magic are in the market for headscratching players too add to the roster on silly deals.

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