I'm not a believer because it would have been done.
The Boston Globe and others reported the Lakers explored the idea of an Eric Bledsoe sign-and-trade deal with Phoenix for Julius Randle and a future first-round pick.
This deal is simply too good to be true. Technically, the Suns can't do the deal because the CBA demands a 30-day waiting period before a team can trade a recently-signed draft pick. That wouldn't stand in the way, however, if the deal was real. It would just delay the announcement of the trade but not the negotiations.
I get the fact the Lakers need to do something. If they really want Bledsoe, just sign him. Give him the max. After you've done that, call the Suns and work on the trade. If the Suns have reservations about matching a max deal, they can negotiate a sign-and-trade. If they don't have a problem with it, the Suns will pay Bledsoe the max and everyone gets what they want. he Lakers even get something in that scenario because they stuck it to the Suns and forced them to overpay for Bledsoe.
If the Lakers were really willing to offer Bledsoe the max, it would have already happened.
Every day that goes by, Eric Bledsoe loses a little more leverage.