In what has come as a surprise to some, Phoenix Suns’ Eric Bledsoe remains a restricted free agent and the two don’t seem all that close on a deal. The Suns are reportedly offering Bledsoe a four-year, $48 million deal but Bledsoe is looking for a five-year, $80 million contract. Bledsoe doesn’t have much leverage because he really hasn’t received much interest from other teams. One report suggested teams have been scared off by his injury history and may haven’t showed more interest because they knew the Suns would match all offers.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports no one signed Bledsoe to an offer sheet because they knew the Suns would match and didn’t want to tie up money in him for three days.
No team extended an offer sheet to Bledsoe because it was assumed that the Suns would match and they didn’t want to tie up their money for three days only to miss out on Bledsoe as well as all of the players scooped up during that 72-hour period. Now, the free agency money has dried up and Bledsoe doesn’t have many options. I think he settles for Phoenix’s offer, which isn’t that bad, and the two sides move on. Remember, last year Nikola Pekovic was in the same boat. He was a restricted free agent and didn’t come to an agreement with the Minnesota Timberwolves until August 14. Restricted free agency is just a tough, awkward process.
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.