One of the top players to hit the market this summer, Phoenix Suns’ guard Eric Bledsoe, remains unsigned. There are several reasons, possibly including his injury history, teams haven’t been as interested in Bledsoe as many thought they’d be, but chief among them is the fact Bledsoe is a restricted free agent and teams expected the Suns to match any offer sheet, including a max offer sheet, Bledsoe would potentially sign.
The Suns have made it clear they want to keep Bledsoe, but they don’t want to dish out the max contract – five years and $80 million – he is looking for. Instead, they have reportedly offered Bledsoe a four-year deal worth $48 million which may cause Bledsoe to look elsewhere. However, teams have spent a lot of their money and the team who appears to covet Bledsoe most, the Milwaukee Bucks, probably doesn’t have the tools to get a deal done.
As Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders points out, the Bucks don’t have the type of players or contracts the Suns would demand in return if they did decide to part with Bledsoe.
Milwaukee is the only team I have heard with serious interest, so for me not sure they have anything I’d want back… Larry Sanders? Ersan Ilyasova? OJ Mayo?… Not sure I’d want those contracts and that’s what would have to come back.
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.
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