Updated Jul 15, 2014 - 8:23 am
Eric Bledsoe's waiting game continues
The LeBron James domino fell Friday morning. Chris Bosh, Luol Deng and Carmelo Anthony have signed. Various sign-and-trades have been completed. Restricted free agents have signed offers and moved to different teams.
Eric Bledsoe waits.
He doesn't wait for a team to want him. Almost every team in the NBA wants him. He waits for someone to reach his price. No one is interested in paying it.
Either Eric Bledsoe has completely over-valued his production, under-estimated his "injury-deduction" or knows the moment of desperation has not yet arrived. The only way Bledsoe gets his big pay day is if another team wants to show their fans they're trying. The Suns not only have the right to match any offer, no other team can outbid Phoenix. Another franchise knows the Suns will match so the only reason another team signs is to get attention. Bledsoe will be playing 2014-15 for the Suns no matter what.
The only question is what the terms will be.
He's either a Sun because Phoenix matches an offer, Bledsoe signs long-term with the Suns or he accepts his qualifying offer. Even if Bledsoe's agent tries to say signing elsewhere was a way to increase money for his client, it still shows Bledsoe wanted out of Phoenix. If Bledsoe signs an extension, all is wonderful and it's time to talk about Goran Dragic's extension.
From an ego standpoint, accepting the qualifying offer is the only way this thing comes to a conclusion. Bledsoe can't be happy no other team is calling, so that proves he's not worth the big money extension he wants. If he signs long-term to stay in Phoenix, he's signing on the Suns' terms with no leverage. Clearly, other teams aren't willing to commit major dollars to a player with health concerns. Other franchises also have to clear the cap space to sign Bledsoe for the three days he's on their roster before the Suns match anyway.
If Bledsoe believes in his heart he deserves more, the only way is to prove it by taking less now and hit the ground next summer as an unrestricted free agent. Look for Bledsoe to accept the qualifying offer and gamble on himself. The Suns would have a tough situation on their hands with Dragic and Bledsoe entering unrestricted free agency in the same summer.
The best guess has Bledsoe and Dragic starting for this year's Phoenix Suns. The best guess is for Isaiah Thomas and Dragic starting for next year's Suns.
Doug Franz, Co-host of Doug & Wolf
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