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Suns owner Robert Sarver on Eric Bledsoe: “We think it’s a fair offer”

Aug 4, 2014, 3:02 PM EST

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

Eric Bledsoe is in a tough spot.

He wants a max extension — five years, $80 million — but the Phoenix Suns’ offer on the table is four years, $48 million. Bledsoe is a restricted free agent so any team could make and offer and force the Suns to match or let him go, but the feeling around the league was the Suns would just match so why offer and tie up your money for a few days while other guys keep signing?. Because of that no other offer came, Bledsoe never had the leverage he needed.

The two sides are at an impasse, their relationship is reportedly strained, but Suns owner Robert Sarver didn’t sound like a guy about to budge speaking to Andrew Gilstrap of ArizonaSports.com.

“We think it’s a fair offer. I think you could argue, you know, I mean some would say it’s maybe a little high; some would say it’s low,” the owner said. “What’s fair is important to us, and also important to him — him and his agent. It’s not necessarily us to determine what he thinks is fair; it’s him to determine that.”

About that strained relationship, the owner doesn’t see it.

“I think Eric’s a great guy. And he’ll be happy here when he gets here, whether that’s for one year or for four years or five years,” he said. “I think his agent’s trying to do the best job he can, too. And I have a pretty good relationship with his agent. It’s just part of the process. I wish it would have been resolved earlier, but it is what it is.”

First off, it was floated in this article and has been by some that Bledsoe’s agent, Rich Paul, was in over his head here. That’s a load of crap. For example No. 1, how much better did his main client LeBron James handle that move with Paul guiding him? Paul is not inexperienced, he’s worked for major agencies and gets how the contract game is played. His problem was no other team wanted to make an offer because the Suns would just match. No agent could fix that. (Now the only team with the cap space to make that kind of offer is the Sixers and they are not interested.)

The problem for Bledsoe is he comes to an agreement with the Suns now or he can play one year at the qualifying offer of $3.7 million and then be an unrestricted free agent. That’s a huge amount of risk that can be blown up by a freak injury or a host of other things.

Eric Bledsoe is in a tough spot.

  1. innovativethinking87 - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    So only the Sixers have money to sign him but they dont want him. Looks to me, Phx won this battle..

    • 4thquartermagic - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      Combine this fact with his injury history and you have zero leverage for Bledsoe’s camp.

      If Bledsoe is truly “offended” by the Suns’ offer, he will bet on himself and sign the one year deal.

      Methinks he will take the 4 year deal.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        Only speaking for myself of course, I’d take the GUARANTEED $48 million vs. the one year qualifying offer.

        Even if I did believe in my basketball skills.

        None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. He could be going down the stairs in the and the darn cat is sleeping on one of the steps and when he lands on the cat he then falls down the stairs and messes up his knee.

        Like all of us, he could be driving in his car and someone hits him and he wrecks his knees or something else.

        The $48 million is guaranteed and yes the qualifying offer is guaranteed but he might not see anything beyond that due to bad things happening in life.

        He can lock up his family’s future with the guaranteed $48 million.

      • cruzan80 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        @ sportsfan

        “He can lock up his family’s future with the guaranteed $48 million.”

        Says the guy who ripped Melo for NOT turning down over $50 million!

        The levels of your hypocrisy have reached epic levels.

      • shaner329 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        @cruzan Completely different scenarios.

        Melo has made plenty of money over his career, but the one thing he hasn’t done is had playoff success/a ring. Therefore, one would assume chasing a ring would be more important than more money. However, that wasn’t the case. It was all about the money, which is why people rip on him.

        Bledsoe is still young, hasn’t made anywhere near the money Melo has made, and has a history of injuries. Taking the guaranteed money for 4 years, proving your worth, and hopefully getting a much higher contract after that seems to be a better option than a 1 year qualifying contract in which he could get injured and lose everything.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 4, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        @ cruzan

        Sir, my levels of hypocrisy are different when one has ALREADY earned over $135 million and endorsements on top of that.

        Let’s say Melo took $88 million or something on another team and not the $120 something from the Knicks.

        He would have earned $223 million at the end of that 4 yr deal and yet more endorsement monies on top of that.

        Then, he’s still most likely sign another contract for a few years as he would still be young enough to play a few more seasons.

        My definition of hypocrisy doesn’t include a man who will earn MORE than a quarter of a Billion dollars easily vs. one who has ONLY earned a bit over $7 million to date.

        Let’s see… $7 million or so vs. $223 million with the SMALL contract on another team and all his endorsement monies as he’s played longer than Eric.

        So we’re talking about $7 million to a quarter of a billion.

        While Melo will easily go over $250 million in earnings had he taken the smaller deal, he could have gone to a better team but even with that amount of cash he wanted more.

        It WAS Melo who said he couldn’t take losing.

        Guess what? He’s gonna lose this year for sure and he could have done something about it.

        Although I’m very HAPPY he’s not on the Bulls as that means they wouldn’t have won it all.

      • 4thquartermagic - Aug 4, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        Bingo. Great post.

        But careful using logic and reason.

        You’ll be called a troll even after being rational.

      • cruzan80 - Aug 4, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        @ sportsfan

        Then, he’s still most likely sign another contract for a few years as he would still be young enough to play a few more seasons.”

        Unless…..he “goes down the stairs in the and the darn cat is sleeping on one of the steps and when he lands on the cat he then falls down the stairs and messes up his knee.”

        OR

        “he could be driving in his car and someone hits him and he wrecks his knees or something else.”

        LOL, you’re hilarious. I love your predictions too, “He’s gonna lose this year for sure and he could have done something about it.” says the guy who KNEW LeBron wasn’t going back to Cleveland because Dan’s letter is waaaaaaaaaay too much to get over.

        All that “logic” & “reason” seems a little contradicting to me….but OK!

        @4thquarter

        I won’t call sportfan a troll…at least he admits to hating Melo & the Knicks whereas some people say there just trying to help PBT make a profit…

      • rehabguy - Aug 4, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        Comparing Bledsoe to Melo…I needed that laugh.

      • blueballzny - Aug 4, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        @cruzan:

        How do you KNOW he signed with NY for the money? Are you friends with Melo? It couldn’t possibly be that he enjoys playing in the city where he grew up, right? I’m sure that if you were a professional athlete you wouldn’t enjoy trying to win a title for your hometown and playing in front of friends and family each home game. It couldn’t possibly be that he believes Phil Jackson, with his 11 rings, can build NY into a contender. If there is anyone in the NBA a player can put his faith into, it’s that guy. No, it HAD to be about money. It had to be that the $90 mil he would’ve made in Chicago was not enough money for him.

        For whatever reason, you love to hate Melo. That says more about you and the type of person you are than it does Melo. So you can go and declare that it was all about the money for Melo. The only thing I learned from your rant is that you are an ignorant hater who is incapable of seeing things from a perspective other than your own.

        I really wish this could be a forum where basketball fans can discuss what’s happening in the NBA rather than the majority of people who post here saying that every move a team makes is awful, unless it is a move their team made. Then, it’s the best move ever.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 4, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        @ cruz

        I did say “most likely”

        and IF Melo DID fall down the stairs because he stepped on the cat, he’s ALREADY set for life…

        it’s Bledsoe who is NOT yet set for life.

        Big difference.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        @ cruz

        you are right when you said that I didn’t think Lebron would go to Cleveland because of Gilbert’s letter.

        i said that many times on here and I was wrong about that obviously.

        but, I’ve made many mistakes on here and that’s OK… I can admit to my mistakes.

        sometimes my mistakes are replying to certain individuals…

    • iammr713 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      He should see the writing on the wall anyway. Suns don’t think he can stay healthy & that’s why they drafted Ennis & signed Thomas. If he really wants the max, he will play for 1yr & become a free agent next summer or sign the 4yr deal & you have the Minny – K. Love situation all over again.

      • rehabguy - Aug 4, 2014 at 7:44 PM

        Bledsoe no comparison to Love. Every player thinks they are worth the max. And when you can’t even get an offer sheet, that is a sign.

  2. paleihe - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Eric, I like you, I really do. But, throughout your entire career, you’ve been a starting PG for less than a whole season.

    The money is fair. Prove yourself. If you can stay healthy, you’re a game changer. But, take the guaranteed 48 million, don’t be stupid.

    • cruzan80 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      @paleihe

      Agreed.

      He hasn’t proven to anyone that he’s worth more than what the Suns have offered him.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 4, 2014 at 5:49 PM

      I agree with you paleihe

      I’m sure he’s expecting to make a lot more and so I doubt he’s set for life with what he’s made now which is only a bit over $7 million.

      Should something happen to him, odds are small I know, he’s SOL.

      Grab $48 large ones kid…

      The average household income in America is around $50K (roughly).

      $48 million is 960 years of $50K every year.

      How does one say no to that when they are NOT set for life yet?

  3. handsomerob86 - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    And Orlando gets Frye for 5 years 8 million per? If we were gonna waste money why not sign Bledsoe to a max, at least he might be worth it someday.

  4. CM Diaz - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    IF the knicks were smart they would grab this guy ASAP along with Greg Monroe

    • 4thquartermagic - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Your talking about a franchise that gave Amare Stoudamire a blank check.

      Smart moves aren’t in their wheelhouse.

      • cruzan80 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        @4thquater

        Troll on sir…troll on.

      • limonadamas - Aug 4, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        It’s not untrue… =P

    • ryanaammess - Aug 4, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      With what money?

    • blueballzny - Aug 4, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      Do you know anything about basketball and free agency? The article stated that Philly is the only team with cap space. Do the Knicks play in Philly? No, they don’t. Therefore they do not have any cap space.

      Logic: use it so you don’t say stupid things.

  5. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    I love Eric Bledsoe but he’s nowhere near a max player. He hasn’t had one season that reeks of ‘max-extension’ and he’s been hurt for about half of his career. This is the craziest negotiation I’ve ever seen.

  6. jasper36 - Aug 4, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    I like how the writer insinuates that Bledsoes agent isn’t in over his head because he also handles LeBron. Like he’s been LeBrons agent his entire career. This is the first contract that LeBron has allowed Paul to work for him. So Bledsoe should be smart, and not allow his agent to screw this up for him. He is not LeBron, who would have gotten the max wit Mickey Mouse as his agent.

  7. smoothaswilkes - Aug 4, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Bledsoe might be a max player tomorrow, if he can stay healthy, but he wants Phoenix to assume all the risk by paying him max money today. Sorry it doesn’t work that way. If he has beef with how the intricacies of the CBA works, he should get more involved with the union and make sure the player’s have necessary leverage to change it in a couple of years.

    That said, there is a middle ground here, which should work for both sides. He should sign a 3 year deal at $12 million per, or go the 4 year option with an ETO. That way, Bledsoe is guaranteed $36 million and can opt out for a bigger payday after the new CBA is in place and there will be much more TV money on the table.

    Even if he wanted to take the sub $4 million QO, he’d still not get all the money he could next season signing a max contract. He’d be too early to take advantage of the new TV deals.

    This seems to make the most sense, which is why it probably doesn’t happen.

  8. censormynameandmycomments - Aug 4, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    The bottom line is that if there was a team that thought Bledsoe was worth the max (or even just a little bit more than the Suns offer) they would have made the offer. No one did which means no one thinks he is worth what he thinks he’s worth.

    If Lebron was a restricted FA and the Cavs said they would match any offer, would that dissuade every team in the league from making him an offer? Of course not! If teams think you’re worth it they’ll take the risk of tying up money for 3 days. If no team thinks you’re worth it, no one will offer. No one offered to Bledsoe, so no one thinks he’s worth it.

    It’s not the Suns fault, they are not “using RFA against him.” Bledsoe is too unproven and too injury prone to justify the risk of giving him the max deal he wants. That’s the risk that scared teams away, not this stupid line about being afraid to tie up money for 3 days. Get real.

  9. alongthegulf - Aug 4, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    The Suns made Bledsoe a qualifying offer. He is a restricted agent meaning any team can make an offer up to including a max offer. Then the Suns can match that offer including a max offer of their own. No team has made an offer more than the qualifying the Suns made. Bledsoe and/or his agent think way more of Bledsoe talents than the rest of the league does. It’s time for Bledsoe, and his agent, to shut up and sign the offer. It’s not doing Bledsoe any good. He’s not dealing from a power position. It just makes him look like greedy player.

  10. rrhoe - Aug 4, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    I don’t side with management normally but Bledsoe is not worth 4yrs/48mil,but it’s fair. He has been with PHX for one year,played 43 games,and while good when he played he only played 43 gms. I don’t think any team would make a max contract offer under those circumstances and to be honest I don’t think any other team thought of him as a max contract player either because if they did someone would’ve tried calling PHX’s bluff.

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