Many are surprised that Phoenix Suns’ restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe is still on the market.
Bledsoe was dealt from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Suns and was poised to thrive in a bigger role. He certainly played well, but his season was cut short by 39 games because of an injury. The Suns have said they want to retain Bledsoe but are reportedly very far apart in negotiations (Bledsoe wants around $80 million and the Suns are offerin $48 million). The Suns, who already have Goran Dragic, have also added another point guard – former Sacramento Kings’ star Isaiah Thomas.
Dan Bickley of AZ Sports wonders if Bledsoe is unhappy in Phoenix.
His camp shut down negotiations, and when this past season came to a close, Bledsoe left Phoenix and hasn’t returned. We still don’t know how he really feels about playing in the Valley.
That’s a shame. It seems like bad strategy. Bledsoe should understand that if the Suns wanted to play dirty, they could have offered far less than $48 million and forced the budding star to find a better offer. He should also place some value on what he already has in pocket, namely Jeff Hornacek, a liberating system, a great training staff and the perks of being a NBA star in Phoenix.
Instead, he’s in a stalled negotiation that’s threatening to affect his image, where an overplayed hand might undermine his relationship with Phoenix basketball fans.
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.