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Report: Lakers could make big run at Goran Dragic and/or Eric Bledsoe next summer

Sep 3, 2014, 6:20 PM EST

New York Knicks v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

The Eric Bledsoe situation could play right into the Lakers’ hands.

As you read this the Suns and Bledsoe, a restricted free agent, are deadlocked on negotiations for a new contract — the Suns offered four years, $48 million, which they think is fair; Bledsoe and his agent want the max of five-years, $85 million. They have yet to find common ground, which has Bledsoe considering taking the risk and playing for the qualifying offer of $3.7 million next season (that’s a lot of guaranteed money for a guy whose had knee surgery to turn down) then becoming a free agent next summer.

If Bledsoe does that the Suns are in a bind and the Lakers could make them pay, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

Should Bledsoe decide to sign the qualifying offer, as appears increasingly likely if no sign-and-trade materializes, Bledsoe can’t be traded without his consent for the whole season … and would instantly set himself up to join Goran Dragic as an unrestricted free agent next summer….

If Bledsoe elects to go the rare qualifying offer route, Phoenix would suddenly face the very real possibility of losing both of its two best assets without compensation in 2015 free agency.

The Lakers, for example, are just one team league sources say would likely make a hard run at both of them, based on the premise that the Suns couldn’t afford the cost of paying both at that point, theoretically making either Bledsoe or Dragic gettable. Sources say that Houston, furthermore, has Dragic on its list of potential targets next summer given how he’s blossomed since leaving the Rockets for Phoenix in the free-agent summer of 2012.

There’s a lot of ifs here, starting with Bledsoe playing for the qualifying offer. Sure, he’s saying that (as is Detroit’s Greg Monroe) but it’s not something guys do — players don’t leave a lot of guaranteed money on the table. However, Bledsoe seems closer to signing the qualifying offer than anyone expected (Bledsoe’s agent Rich Paul is getting criticized in some quarters for this, but you have to wonder what other teams have told him could come).

If Bledsoe does sign it that would really put the Suns in a bind. Which is why them offering a little more now to keep him makes some sense, but at what price is Bledsoe willing to sign on, and do you want to really give a guaranteed fifth year to a guy who only played half of last season due to knee surgery?

Meanwhile the Lakers (and soon the Knicks) will just sit in the wings and wait for their chance.

  1. spyder9669 - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    The Suns will NEVER let Goran leave town. He will get maxed no matter what. Plus he wants to be in Phoenix. Bledsoe will be traded in the near future.

    • Hard On For Harden - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      Except for that time they traded him to Houston for Aaron Brooks, in which he had to leave town

    • 00maltliquor - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      Maxed!?!?

      You’re out of your mind!………..Or are you? Sheeeet you never know these days though, huh Mr. Hayward?

      • zerole00 - Sep 4, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        Rarely does one contract (Hayward) screw over multiple teams, but it’s the gift that just keeps giving (entertainment).

  2. Hard On For Harden - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    Report: Lakers could pursue any free agent one year from now

    • apkyletexas - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      Goran and Bledsoe – the new Kobe and Shaq, destroying the league together in purple and gold short pants. Or not.

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 4, 2014 at 12:37 AM

      Report: Any team may pursue any free agent one year from now…

      Doesn’t mean they’ll land them… but nothing is stopping them from pursuing them…

      I mean the Rockets pursed any and all free agents this summer too…

      • zerole00 - Sep 4, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        ((The point))

        ((Your head))

  3. campcouch - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    I think the Suns would rather pay Dragic that money than Bledsoe. He’s your Lakers.

  4. asimonetti88 - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Bledsoe would be a nice get for the Lakers

    • 88heatnation - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      Not if Lin have another breakout camping, if Jeremy Lin manages to average at least 16ppg and 8ast which he is highly capable of, playing with more desperation on a contract year again with increased playing time at the starting point (Nash limitations) plus his marketing capability will boost revenue and ticketing sales LA might be content at the 1.

      • ddarqwon - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        Wow, you’ve got a whole lot crammed into that “if”.

      • smoothaswilkes - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        A breakout season would be his first. Let’s not count the 30 some games he played well in D’Antoni’s offense. He’s a decent PG. Better if he’s your backup. 16 and 8 are achievable but Bledsoe is younger and higher ceiling. And he plays defense – something at which Lin does not excel.

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 4, 2014 at 12:41 AM

      yes, he is a nice player.

      now, so many have ripped Bledsoe, saying he’s not worth a max and that $48 million is enough or even too much…

      something tells me that if the Lakers do land him, they’ll have paid MORE than that for him…

      something also tells me that we won’t hear the same Lakers fans ripping him about his salary if the Lakers get him like they did over these past few months when articles came out about him…

  5. money2long - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    what happened to the people who didn’t like when i presented this idea about a month ago

    • 88heatnation - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      They were looking for the Top free agents the Melo and Lebron’s, coming empty now they’re willing to settle.

      • money2long - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        u realize ur comment makes no sense?
        lebron n melo have nothing to do with bledsoe’s time as an unrestricted fa

      • 88heatnation - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:56 AM

        Point im making is Lakers fans never cared for Bledsoe as a free agent until now when the top guys are taken.

      • money2long - Sep 4, 2014 at 8:12 AM

        He’s restricted. In fact, the thinking involving Bledsoe was the suns would match. Fans knew that. Gms of other teams knew it. So no one else has made an offer to him. Now that the possibility is growing for him to become an UNrestricted free agent sooner than later, the existence of realistic optimism can begin.

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 4, 2014 at 12:43 AM

      it’s called delusional posters… they don’t care.

      oh, folks that think we should care, remember etc… are delusional too…

  6. fnc111 - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    Bledsoe will look great in civi’s for the Fakers.

  7. luz56 - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    What happened to “everyone” wanting to play for the mighty Lakers??? Excuses are like aholes and everyone has one…bottom line is Jimmy Buss better known as the fastest sperm one night is destroying the once mighty brand.. It was a great 40 year run but now you have the Clippers breathing down your neck… Get used to table scraps Hollywood Fakers

    • 00maltliquor - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      Yuck it up now while you can baby girl. You’ve been waiting your whole life to taunt the Lakers so now’s your chance but it will be pretty short lived. It’s not going to take them as long as the Celtics pre-KG and Knicks post Ewing to get out of obscurity.

      Write it down, take a picture…..screen shot it.

  8. sunsbolts7 - Sep 4, 2014 at 5:43 AM

    The Lakers sure seem to love the Suns table scraps. If they wanna overpay Bledsoe and his twice surgically repaired knee, go for it. Ask the Knicks how that worked out when they overpaid Amare.

    Also, Dragic won’t be going anywhere. Old front office were the ones who made that ridiculous trade years ago with Houston. He came back because Phoenix has been and always will be his home away from home (Slovenia)

    • Lujah - Sep 5, 2014 at 5:24 AM

      It really it sad how much you’ll suns fans hate bledsoe now. Over nothing at that.

      And your dragic fawning sounds a little delusional.

      • sunsbolts7 - Sep 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        We want players who want to be here. It’s not like our contract offer was low-balling him. Rich Paul refusing to budge from a max contract is the problem. He hasn’t deserved it. You don’t overpay an injury prone player based on potential. Golden State didn’t when Steph Curry was having injury issues, and his deal he signed is similar to the one the Suns are offering.

        You don’t follow Phoenix basketball or Dragic if you find it delusional.

      • Lujah - Sep 6, 2014 at 10:11 PM

        Did bledsoe say he didn’t want to be with the Suns or is that what angry suns fans are telling themselves?

        I understand the injury concerns for the organization but the hatred you’ll are spewing based on nothing but silence is quite ridiculous.

        Steph is the absolute worst comparison you could’ve made. Golden State low balled steph and not only did he become healthy but a Superstar.

        Players may love a city and want to live there but that doesn’t make them loyal to any team/organization.

  9. saint1997 - Sep 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    I get the feeling Dragic is option no. 1 for Knicks, don’t underestimate Phil

  10. mutasian - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    the lakers will get anyone they want…little lebron and big lebron together if they want.

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