No one expected Eric Bledsoe’s free agency to turn out like this. One of the best point guards in the NBA, it was expected there would be a flock of suitors waiting to offer the young guard a maximum deal in hopes of wooing him away from the Phoenix Suns.
Instead, he’s currently sitting without suitors as the Suns won’t budge on an early offer of four-years, $48 as Bledsoe hopes. This has led to a stalemate and according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports, he thinks this stalemate has been self inflicted as Bledsoe and agent Rich Paul have ‘boxed themselves into a corner’.
On Monday’s Bickley and Marotta show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Wojnarowski said Bledsoe and his agent, Rich Paul, have “kind of boxed themselves into a corner” after rejecting the Suns’ four-year, $48 million offer but being unable to secure an offer sheet from another team.
“It’s not really a negotiating strategy to say, ‘Max deal or nothing.’” he said. “Restricted free agency is about the agent going out and getting an offer sheet for his player. That’s it. It’s not about the Suns bidding against themselves. Utah didn’t bid against itself with Gordon Hayward, and Houston didn’t do that with Chandler Parsons, but their agents went out and got offer sheets, and got max offer sheets.”
Wojnarowski is right. While Bledsoe is talented he has an injury of history that devalues his worth–especially after getting his meniscus removed instead of repaired–and cripples his leverage. If the Suns or any other team felt Bledsoe was worth the maximum, they would’ve made it known. Obviously, they don’t and it’s caused friction between the two parties.
This has ultimately led to the possibility of Eric Bledsoe accepting the Suns’ qualifying offer like Greg Monroe has been reported to do with the Pistons except this is a much bigger risk for a point guard coming off a season where he played less than 50 games. And that could be Phoenix’s end game. They know the risks Bledsoe would be taking here and it plays into their hands and their leverage.
Now we wait until a resolution is solved.