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Report: Suns discussing trade possibilities for Eric Bledsoe

Aug 20, 2014, 4:12 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

The Suns and Eric Bledsoe are at an impasse in contract negotiations, but since Bledsoe is a restricted free agent, Phoenix holds all the leverage.

Bledsoe wants a five-year max contract, but the Suns were only willing to go as high as four years and $48 million — which, frankly, seems fair for someone with career averages of 8.7 points and 3.4 assists in four NBA seasons, and who has had injuries limit him in two of those four years, including last season in Phoenix.

When healthy, however, Bledsoe has shown the value that he seeks. He averaged 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.6 steals in Phoenix last year, but again, durability is a concern, as he was able to make just 43 regular season appearances.

Bledsoe has one way to shift the negotiations in his favor, but it’s extremely risky. He can sign to play for one year under the qualifying offer of $3.7 million, and then pursue bigger money as an unrestricted free agent the following summer — an option that gets more likely with each passing day.

If it gets to that point, however, it’s virtually guaranteed that Bledsoe will bolt Phoenix in free agency, in part due to the bad blood created by the way this scenario is playing out. The Suns would be wise to look at their options in a trade for Bledsoe, so that they don’t lose a player of his caliber without getting something of worth to replace him — and the latest report says the team is doing exactly that.

From Jude LaCava at Fox Sports 910 (via Dave King at Bright Side of the Sun):

“I’ll tell you this, and I think this is the first time it’s reported,” Jude LaCava said on Tuesday. “I do believe in my NBA sources. You can take this to the bank, so to speak, the Suns are now discussing trade possibilities for Eric Bledsoe.”

“That’s the new chapter to this and I wouldn’t back off of that information. I think it’s 100% correct.”

It would be the smart thing to do on Phoenix’s side, if in fact things in the relationship have gone so far south. The problem for Bledsoe remains the same, though, which is that he wants a five-year max deal — and there don’t appear to be any suitors for him at that price.

  1. vikesdynasty - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Don’t know why MN hasn’t tried trading for this guy or just flat out sign him. Or Monroe. Way better than Thaddeus Young.

    • felser - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      $$$

    • musician0785 - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      because they still have 2 pay rubio for 2 more years

      • jazz11001 - Aug 21, 2014 at 1:29 AM

        Rubio isn’t a Flip style point guard, but Bledsoe is. As a matter of fact, Bledsoe is EXACTLY what a Saunders style PG is. Lets go Barrea and Kevin Martin for Bledsoe. I would be wary of the whole K love trade as I think that it will be Young in return for Bennett but rather Carter Williams for the 1st rounder and Dion Waiters.If that doesn’t happen then look for the Bledsoe gig.

      • spursareold - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        Trade Rubio FOR Bledsoe.

      • musician0785 - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        why in the hell would phoenix do that? they already have like 4 pg’s on the roster

      • Lujah - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        So what’s one more? lol.

        Anyway I’d much rather have Bledsoe than rubio if i’m minnesota.

  2. 1friendofthepeople - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    No other team offered him a contract this summer. He could have been had if a team offered him the max. No one wanted to.

    Phoenix has probably had enough of his holding out and they think he’s serious about signing the one year qualifying.

    *If* he stays healthy he will be one of the best point guards in the league, his improvement year to year truly is impressive. He’s got enormous upside. He was injured 2 out of 4 seasons but guys can get hurt without it necessarily meaning they’re going to miss significant time every season. He’s built like a running back I would give him the benefit of the doubt because best case he’s a top 5 point guard in this league within a few seasons….worst case he’s Eric Gordon. He hasn’t had the same injuries reoccurring, as Gordon has, so that is a plus but he could just have a brittle body which would only be marginally better than reoccurring injuries.

    • tjr324 - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:49 PM

      Not really sure Gordon is a good comparison as Gordon is more of an outside shooter. Also, Bledsoe tore the meniscus in his knee and decided to have the meniscus removed rather then repaired (if he had had it repaired he would have missed the whole season like D Rose did). Since he had it removed, he was able to return to action quicker but it affects the longevity of his career. This is what we are witnessing with Dwyane Wade at the moment due to his decision to have his meniscus removed in college. Given those circumstances, a 5 yr max contract for someone who is likely to have recurring knee trouble down the road is a legitimate risk/concern.

      • money2long - Aug 20, 2014 at 6:39 PM

        For these young guys, these contracts they are seeking should not be looked at what they’ve done (career averages) but what they feel they will contribute during the length of the contract. On and off the court.

      • rrhoe - Aug 20, 2014 at 6:47 PM

        Wow,I didn’t know he had his meniscus removed and if I’m not mistaken it was his meniscus that was the issue before. Feel bad for the guy,would have thought that he would’ve spoken with Wade and heard first hand how he regrets having his removed. That being said,I guess I can see why he wants a 5yr deal but reality a mofo,no team is gonna offer him the max money(even in FA),he should take the deal. .

      • 1friendofthepeople - Aug 20, 2014 at 6:52 PM

        I would agree but D-Wade had his entire meniscus removed while Bledsoe had part of one removed. More importantly D-Wade had a meniscus removed IN COLLEGE and then when he hit his 30’s he declined, he had a h.o.f career. If the NBA had those 10 year long MLB contracts it could be a problem. The longest contract he can sign is for a maximum of 5 years, removing part of one meniscus won’t be the reason Bledsoe doesn’t reach his potential.

      • tomasekradek - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:56 AM

        Wade with removed meniscus has some trouble all his career, but still a hall of famer, still played many many games on a very high level.
        D-Rose with repaired meniscus hasn’t played for like 3 years. Now when it finally seems he makes it back on the court in top form, he’s hurting again.
        I’m not a doctor, not a physio. But don’t be quick to judge. Each body has it’s owns and we definitely can’t tell what would have been better for Bledsoe.

      • tjr324 - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:58 AM

        Rose’s meniscus injury happened last year not 3 years ago. I also don’t think his knee is hurt at the moment or whatever you are implying, they are just resting him for conditioning purposes. Additionally, Bledsoe’s most recent surgery was his second in a little over 2 years on the same knee.

      • tomasekradek - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:16 AM

        ok, thanks for correction about those injuries.
        and i don’t know where but i read that he didn’t play last game due to minor pain in his knee

  3. cantonbound13 - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    If he’s injury prone, just trade him to the 76ers.

  4. phillysports1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    Come to Philly.

  5. rrhoe - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    I just don’t see Bledsoe getting a max contract(money wise) in any scenario,the offer made is too much but fair. Unless he is traded the only team that can offer 5yrs is PHX(or whatever team gets him) and if he plays under the QO the most he could get on the open market is 4yrs. So I am guessing this is about money,if he wants to gamble on himself then more power to him,at this point I really don’t care anymore.

  6. lazegowizfan95 - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    I hope he ends up with Bucks If so they can be a real sleeper to me there already a sleeper with the talented Antetekounpo and Parker, but with Bledsoe also in the mix they could make some noise and get that 7th or 8th spot and fear the dear will be back at it.

  7. vikesdynasty - Aug 20, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    I’d rather have Bledsoe than Rubio. Unless Rubio can learn to shoot within the next decade

    • bhunter1995 - Aug 21, 2014 at 7:59 AM

      PGs better then Rubio (in no particular order)

      CP3
      D-Rose
      Rondo
      Isaiah Thomas
      Dragic
      Bledsoe
      Irving
      Westbrook
      Ty Lawson
      Curry
      Kyle Lowry
      Lillard
      JWall
      Conley
      Tony Parker
      MCW
      Teague
      Kemba Walker
      D Will
      Jrue Holiday

      There is twenty PGs I (and any sane GM) would take over Rubio, there are at least five more guys I would take but those guys aren’t as clear cut, Rubio sucks

  8. timpiker - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    I want a max contract too!

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:11 AM

      Are you young? What’s your upside like? Or are you 7″0 that can produce 15 and 10? If you said yes to 2 out of 3 of those criteria you just may have a deal…

  9. mungman69 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Bledsoe isn’t better than Thad Young all things being equal BUT all things are not equal. Young doesn’t miss many games and he plays great defense AND can score from a variety of spots.

    Plus; He’s only twenty five (25) years old.
    Plus; He’s a great leader.
    If you don’t like Young then you don’t like basketball .

    • sixerstrong - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      I hate losing the guy, for all of the reasons you mentioned. However, I feel bad for him being trapped on a team that does not have him as part of their future plans. Few players hustle as hard every single game than Thad does. He’s a true professional, and he deserves to go to a team that actually wants him. Sad to see how the Thad era in Philly is ending.

  10. fordmandalay - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Do the Lakers have anything at all to make this trade?

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:12 AM

      Just keeping it 1,000……….no.

    • musician0785 - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      They can have Lin and swaggy p…..

      • ddarqwon - Aug 21, 2014 at 8:32 PM

        That would be a good look for LA,
        not so much for Phoenix though.

      • musician0785 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:17 AM

        that was the point

  11. mungman69 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    I concur with a previous writer that Eric Bledsoe would be considered a better ball player if he had more than one good season and the fact that he only played in 43 games in that season. Way to early to know what Eric will give you.
    With Thaddeus Young you know that he can give you 16 points and 8 rebounds and play great defense. Even if your team has two (2) good forwards Thad would be a great addition. He has stated many times that he would come off of the bench.
    He’d be the sixth man of the year, a real leader.

    • spursareold - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      He’s only had one season where he was a major player on his team. Being CP3’s backup will do that to you.

  12. csbanter - Aug 21, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Suns should inquire with the Knicks about Hardaway Jr. or better yet reuniting the Plumlee brothers.they could have the morris and Plumlee twins on same roster.

  13. 00maltliquor - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    Man this is sad, to me anyways.

    I was really looking forward to a Suns future with Bled and Dragic manning the backcourt. I know the Suns are in my division and we need all the misfortune happening as we can get to have any kind of advantage but…I’m not a hater. I LOOOVE it when the NBA has good teams and are interesting and competitive.

    I like seeing other teams doing good. It’s the NBA fan in me. I hate how it’s come down to this. I hope the Suns come out of this UNNECESSARY dilemma on top, and Eric ends up regretting this.

  14. 1friendofthepeople - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    To summarize I don’t think Bledsoe will get anymore than $12 million-$13 million or $14 million as the absolute most he will get per over four or five.

  15. 1friendofthepeople - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    To summarize I don’t think he will get more than $12-$13 million, $14 million being the absolute most, but probably a stretch. Which sucks for the Suns because their original offer was $12 million and he probably doesn’t get much more from another team.

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