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Report: Agents, team executives believe Suns made fair offer to Eric Bledsoe

Aug 5, 2014, 9:59 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Suns owner Robert Sarver recently said that the offer made by the team to restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe of four years, $48 million was one that was fair.

Of course he feels that way — it’s Sarver’s money, and given his position as the team’s owner, he obviously wants to see the Suns lock up free agents at or below market value in order to help solidify the roster.

But others around the league, with no bias toward either the team or the player, agree with that assessment.

From Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic:

Four current NBA executives and two prominent agents were anonymously unanimous in their belief that the Suns made a fair offer to Bledsoe and that he does not merit a maximum-salary contract now. …

I’m surprised that they would offer him that much,” he said. “They don’t need to. It is really fair and, in fact, generous. He is talented, but he has never put it together very long, and he hasn’t been healthy. It’s hard to turn your team over to him.” …

“He expected way too much,” another executive said. “They built up his head, and it gets him out of whack. I’d love to have him, but he’s not a max player. All it takes is one team, but one team hasn’t made him an offer sheet.”

The Suns have restricted free agency on their side, which comes with it the ability to match any offer Bledsoe might have received from other teams — and he knows that. No teams made any offers, however, at least ones that we heard about or that Bledsoe was willing to sign in order to force Phoenix’s hand.

Bledsoe is eligible for a five-year max deal, and that’s what his representation is seeking. Much like Gordon Hayward with Utah, the Suns would have been more than happy for Bledsoe to sign a four-year offer sheet with another team that they could match, and avoid negotiations that involved a fifth guaranteed season.

It’s unclear where things go from here, but Bledsoe has three realistic options.

He can take the offer on the table, which may or may not prove to be too little if Bledsoe can remain healthy and realize the potential that so many feel that he has. He could negotiate a shorter deal (two years, perhaps) to get at least a chunk of money guaranteed, while attempting to prove his worth before pursuing life as an unrestricted free agent.

Finally, there’s the nuclear option, which would be playing out next season under the qualifying offer, and then becoming an unrestricted free agent the following year. But players coming off of rookie contracts almost always take the guaranteed dollars at this point in their careers, so this one doesn’t seem all that likely — especially after witnessing the injury to Paul George, which should have given all players a sobering reminder of the amount of risk they’re taking anytime they step onto the court.

  1. harshedmellow - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Poor dude. 4/48 is poverty-level living in today’s economy. That’s only ~6 mil a year after taxes.

    I light my cigars with 6 million dollar bills. I can see why he’s bummed.

  2. 6thsense10 - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    I don’t know if this is a case of the agent not managing his client’s expectations or Bledsoe being delusional but Bledsoe really needs to know how lucky he is to even receive this offer. The market is not there for him at max contract level.

    • djjeremiahj - Aug 5, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      Or, this is all agent created drama.
      His agent wants a bigger payday, he wants his client in a bigger city, and one with more potential….
      But, he has no leverage outside of the media.

      In the end, he’ll sign the Phoenix offer and hope to be traded.

  3. cantonb0und13 - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    Just accept the offer already.

  4. nfl4days - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    He’s a fool if he thinks he’s getting more than that from anyone.

  5. rrhoe - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    As I’ve said many times,the offer is too much but fair,and I don’t blame PHX one bit for drawing a line in the sand.

  6. money2long - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    Take the qualifying offer this season.
    Sign with the lakers the following season.

    • djjeremiahj - Aug 5, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Ok… great idea..
      Play for $5M and hope that ANOTHER injury doesn’t happen…
      or take the guaranteed $48M.

      • money2long - Aug 5, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        I know it’s a gamble. I see where you’re going.

  7. spursareold - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    He seems like he’s going down that path of being the next Eric Gordon. He’s over full of himself, and never healthy.

    • therealhtj - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      But he’s by most accounts a better player than Gordon, and Gordon got max money. Same with Parsons and Hayward.

      • spursareold - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        And Gordon’s team regrets giving him the MAX. They’ve been trying to dump him since a few months after they matched, and no takers.

      • thenewguy12 - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        Yeah and how has that Gordon deal worked out for New Orleans? Bledsoe’s injury history and generalky inability to stay healthy is what is preventing him from getting the max IMO.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        Before the injuries, Eric Gordon was one of the best shooting guards in the league.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 5, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        I meant to add that having watched Bledsoe and Gordon on the court together many times on the Clippers, Gordon appeared to be the better player.

        Of course, as with any player who gets injured right after signing a big contract and stays injured, New Orleans has its regrets.

        If he hadn’t been injured and continued his upward trajectory and scored 27 a game last season, we’d all be singing a different tune.

      • money2long - Aug 5, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        The league should have more bright shooting guards. I really wished Eric Gordon and Brandon Roy stayed healthy. Gosh I wish I could see Roy play again. He was intelligent and saavy.

  8. wrlegrand - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    He should just sign a two year deal for $26 million, player option in year three for $11 million, and mutual option for $11 million more in year four. Seems like that would be fair for all sides. It would dangle the carrot for him, but he would still be guaranteed a nice sum in advance of the supposedly increasing salary cap (although there are the reports the NBA will try to limit/scale that increase).

  9. thenewguy12 - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    I think this just goes to show that Rich Paul is in over his head. Having LeBron as a client seems to blur the that he just doesn’t know what he is doing. A guy with an online law degree from the University of Stockholm could get LeBron the max.

  10. Lujah - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Ignore your haters. If you think you’re worth more than go for it. Play out the one year and leave phoenix. If you don’t get the deal you want after next year then so be it.

    • 6thsense10 - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      This has nothing to do with hate. He is a restricted free agent who’s best deal is 4 years $48 million. For a variety of reasons no other team has offered more and I honestly think that offer is a little high. So yes turn down 4 year $48 million to accept a 1 year offer of about $3.5 million. That is a huge $40+ million bet that he will perform well enough to get a better offer and he will not get injured. Take the offer. Bledsoe is still young and if he’s as good as he thinks he’ll get the max next contract.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 5, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        This is true. They are offering him the Kyle Lowry contract, and Kyle Lowry earned that while playing all last season under fat.

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