Phoenix Suns’ point guard Eric Bledsoe remains a restricted free agent and is perhaps the player left on the market (although another restricted free agent, Detroit Pistons’ big man Greg Monroe, would probably disagree). The Suns have made it clear they want to keep Bledsoe, but two sides are not close to a deal. The Suns are reportedly offering Bledsoe a contract worth $48 million over four years while Bledsoe is seeking a five-year, $80 million deal.
According to Bob Young of The Arizona Republic, the Suns still plan to match any offer from Bledsoe, even a team (it would have to be the Philadelphia 76ers) comes out of left field and signs Bledsoe to an offer sheet worth $63 million.
Bledsoe reportedly is seeking a maximum contract of $80 million over five seasons, which only the Suns can offer. Other teams can go as high as $63 million over four years, but only Philadelphia remains among teams with salary-cap room to pay it.
By all accounts the Suns will match such a deal if necessary, even if it limits what they can do in the future.
There also appears to be little interest on behalf of the Suns in working sign-and-trade deals involving Bledsoe because the two-playmaker system worked so well last season.
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. In his career, he’s put up 8.7 points, 3.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game while shooting 44.5% from the field, 32.7% from three and 75.9% from the free throw line.