In what has been a surprise to many, Phoenix Suns’ restricted free agent guard Eric Bledsoe is still on the market. The Suns, who have repeatedly said they want to keep Bledsoe are reportedly offering him a four-year, $48 million deal while he is looking for a five-year, $80 million deal.
A few teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks have shown interest in Bledsoe, but they can’t go about $12 million to sign him. It’s clear Bledsoe’s value isn’t as high as his camp thought and many have begun to speculate as to why.
Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders believes teams could be nervous about Bledsoe’s injury history.
It’s a really interesting question, but with Bledsoe’s injury history, there’s a chance that he ends up hurt and then you can’t move him and a big chunk of your cap space has been eaten up. I don’t think you sign a guy to a max deal with the intention to trade him. You sign a guy to a max deal because you consider him a cornerstone of your franchise. Philly isn’t ready to spend money on big free agents just yet. By drafting Saric and Embiid they’re admitting to needing another year of bad basketball to make one more run at a high pick. Bledsoe hurts their odds there, honestly. He’s not the plan.
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.