With the Phoenix Suns reportedly exploring sign-and-trade talks for restricted free agent guard Eric Bledsoe, speculation about where he could land and what the Suns could receive in return should grow over the next few days.
Sam Vecenie of Upside and Motor, a part of our HP Basketball Network, believes the Atlanta Hawks may be the best fit for Bledsoe and that they may have a package to get a deal done.
How would they do it? After the Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott deals become official, the Hawks will have somewhere around $9 million in cap space. But without them having gone through yet, the team has about $12.7 million in cap space. It’s probably fair to assume that these deals haven’t become official yet because the Hawks can go over the cap to complete them, and they want to keep as much financial maneuverability as they can. With $12.7 million in tow, the Hawks could conceivably offer Dennis Schroeder, Adreian Payne, and a first rounder for Bledsoe, sign him to some contract above what the Suns have offered him, and become a contender that hasn’t quite reached its ceiling in the East.
The Hawks entered the offseason hoping to be a major player and although they made a few signings (Thabo Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore), they had bigger plans and Bledsoe would certainly be the type of talent they were looking to acquire.
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 four-year NBA career, the 18th-overall pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft, has averaged 8.7 points, 3.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 44.5% from the floor, 32.7% from three and 75.8% from the charity stripe.
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