The Phoenix Suns are expected to do whatever it takes to retain restricted free agent point guard Eric Bledsoe.
The Suns will reportedly match any offer sheet Bledsoe signs but wanted to get a deal done beforehand. Bledsoe is looking for a max deal, which would be worth around $80 million over fives years. However, the Suns are reportedly offering Bledsoe a four-year, $48 million deal. Bledsoe has drawn interest from the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings, but none of those teams can pay him the type of salary he wants without a trade.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders explains that Bledsoe could sign the qualifying offer worth $6.5 the Suns issued Bledsoe in order to make him a restricted free, play under that salary for a year and become an unrestricted free agent next year.
Bledsoe isn’t without options, he could sign the Suns Qualifying Offer of $6.5 million and hit unrestricted free agency next summer, or at least use that as the hammer to try and force a deal.
Ultimately the Suns are in the driver’s seat with Bledsoe on a trade, they really do not have to do anything that’s not in their best interest, especially as the free agent dollars dry up.
Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 47.7% from the field, 35.7% from beyond the arc and 77.2% from the free throw line last season. Bledsoe, who was the 18th-overall selection of the 2010 NBA Draft, has averaged 8.7 points, 3.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 44.5% from the field, 32.7% from three and 75.9% from the charity stripe.