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Eric Bledsoe: ‘I can understand the Suns are using restricted free agency against me’

Nearly four weeks into free agency, Eric Bledsoe still remains unsigned.

But for the first time, the 24-year-old issued a public comment Saturday.

While appearing at the “Ball Up” street ball tournament in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala., Bledsoe talked briefly with WVTM-TV, an NBC affiliate, about the ongoing process of contract negotiations.

“I’m letting my agent Rich Paul handle it,” Bledsoe said. “I can understand the Phoenix Suns are using restricted free agency against me. But I understand that.”

Bledsoe isn’t necessarily wrong.

Given that he is a restricted free agent, the Suns have the option to match any and all offers that could potentially come Bledsoe’s way.

In addition, if no team is interested in offering the rumored max contract Bledsoe seeks, Phoenix holds plenty of leverage at the table.

According to ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard, the Suns and Bledsoe’s camp reached an impasse as of July 17, after the team reportedly offered him a four-year, $48 million deal.

Bledsoe appeared in 43 games last season, averaging 17.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per contest. WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

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