The best free agent in the market is still left unsigned owing to failed negotiations between Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns. And the situation could get real ugly for both sides if they continue their standoff.
Bledsoe and the Suns are reportedly “very far apart” in contract negotiations and the relationship between the two is “on the verge of being irreparable” according to a report from CSSNW.COM.
Bledsoe fired the first bullet last Saturday accusing the Suns franchise of “using restricted free agency” against him.
“First off I’m going to let my agent handle it,” Bledsoe said, while attending a “Ball Up” street ball tournament in Birmingham. “I can understand the Phoenix Suns are using restricted free agency against me. But I understand that,” Bledsoe said via WVTM Birmingham.
As a restricted free agent or RFA, Bledsoe can actually sign with any other NBA team but the Phoenix Suns have the right of first refusal and choose to match the offered contract and retain his services. As such, teams are scared of chasing and signing the combo guard.
Phoenix initial offer was a four-year $48 million deal that will pay Bledsoe roughly $12M per year. However, Bledsoe’s camp is demanding the maximum deal that will cost the Suns nearly $80M over 5 years or about $15 per year.
The Suns’ offer appears to be the right value for Bledsoe, who has struggled with injury problems since he joined the league in 2010. To compare other point guards in the line-up are Goran Dragic ($7.5M/year) and the newly-acquired Isaiah Thomas ($7.23M/year).
Bledsoe had his best year as a pro in 2013-2014 with averages of 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists although he missed 39 of 82 games of the regular season.
Will the Phoenix Suns and Eric Bledsoe finally agree to a middle ground in this offseason? Or will another team swoop in and take advantage of the negotiation standoff on Arizona?