PHOENIX — Evasive. Guarded. Restrained.
Point guard Eric Bledsoe was all of those things when he spoke to reporters on Thursday after the Suns met for one last time as a group before going their separate ways for the summer.
No matter how many times he was asked, no matter how many different ways he was asked, Bledsoe remained noncommittal about his impending status as a restricted free agent.
“No, I don’t really have any concerns about it,” said GM Ryan McDonough about Bledsoe’s future with the club. “I think he liked being in Phoenix. I know he liked playing for Jeff (Hornacek). He and Goran (Dragic) really blended well and meshed.”
According to president of basketball operations Lon Babby, himself a former agent, Bledsoe handled himself as he should have.
“He’s well represented and well advised; and if I were representing him and advising him, he would say the exact same thing he said [Thursday], so we don’t read too much into that,” Babby said at the Suns’ season-ending media availability on Friday. “We have every reason to believe he likes it here. We know we like him. I wouldn’t read anything more into his comments than that. He’s just being appropriately cautious and strategic. I admire that in his representation and accept it accordingly.”
The Suns have made it clear that they intend to match any offer sheet Bledsoe may choose to sign with any of the other 29 teams, though their preference is for negotiations to not to even reach that point.
“We’ll go to Eric and his representatives and try to work out a deal with him first,” McDonough said. “But we think one way or another he’s going to be a Sun for a long time.”