The current impasse between the Phoenix Suns and restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe is getting the attention of the entire league. Particularly, Western Conference rivals Los Angeles Lakers which are reportedly looking ahead already to the end of the 2014-2015 season to find replacement for Jeremy Lin. The Hollywood team’s target: Bledsoe or the other star guard for Phoenix, Goran Dragic.
Marc Stein of ESPN mentioned the possible free agent acquisition for the Lakers in 2015.
“The Lakers, for example, are just one team league sources say would likely make a hard run at both of them, based on the premise that the Suns couldn't afford the cost of paying both at that point, theoretically making either Bledsoe or Dragic gettable,” Stein stated in his article on Wednesday.
Currently, Bledsoe and Phoenix can’t agree to a contract with the combo guard demanding a maximum salary upwards of $85 million while the Suns franchise is balking at the potential max deal offering just around $48 million, according to previous reports.
The toxic situation in Phoenix could pave the way for Bledsoe to sign a qualifying offer for the 2014-2015 season and will make him an unrestricted free agent (UFA) after the year. With Bledsoe as one of the PG targets, Jeremy Lin’s stay with the Los Angeles Lakers could be short-lived, at least as the lead point guard of the sqad.
The Lakers probable move on Bledsoe is understandable. Steve Nash is 40 years old and is due for retirement by the end of the 2014-2015 season while Jeremy Lin was acquired from the Houston Rockets earlier in the offseason but the Taiwanese-American but is seen as a stop-gap solution at the PG spot as the Lakers continue their rebuild for the next year or so.
Lin also has a friendly expiring contract. If he plays good enough in Los Angeles, he might get an extension but most likely not worth the $15 million per year contract he got with his previous team, the Rockets.
With an aging Nash, Lin is projected to be the starting point guard for the Lakers so the person responsible for “Linsanity” will get his chance to prove that he’s a capable court general in the NBA and a deserving starter in the league.
Lin has career averages of 12.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.1 assist and will enter his fifth year in the NBA. Bledsoe will also be playing in his fifth season in the league logging in 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per outing.
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