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Phoenix Suns’ Eric Bledsoe: ‘I had already signed’ qualifying offer

LISTEN: Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns guard

All’s well that ends well.

That old adage can certainly be applied to the summer-long saga between restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns.

After two-and-a-half months with very little movement, both sides came together on a new five-year, $70 million contract that satisfies the 25-year-old guard and keeps him in Phoenix for a long time to come.

Many reports circulated that Bledsoe’s agent, Rich Paul, was prepared to have his client sign a one-year qualifying offer of $3.7 million and then have him test the free agent market again next summer if a suitable deal couldn’t be reached.

Turns out those reports were pretty spot on.

“I actually had it signed already, I signed it,” Bledsoe told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Monday. “I knew I was going to be back in Phoenix either way.”

Bledsoe was offered $48 million by the Suns when free agency opened in July, so signing the qualifying offer would have been a forfeiture of $8.3 million just this season, and possibly much more moving forward — a dicey proposition to say the least.

“It’s definitely risky,” Bledsoe said.

There had also been speculation that Bledsoe wasn’t happy with Phoenix’s initial offer because he didn’t want to play in the desert. He dispelled that notion, as well.

“I love it (in Phoenix). I love it,” he stated. “I’m excited to be here. I enjoyed the fans last season and I’m looking forward to a great season and years to come.”

After missing 39 games in his first season with the Suns due to injuries, including knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, Bledsoe says he’s fully healthy at the beginning of training camp.

“They’re great,” he said when asked about his knees. “One-hundred percent.”

When asked if there were any limitations presented by his knees, his answer was brief.

“Zero,” he said.

Bledsoe and his Suns teammates begin training camp at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff Tuesday. They’ll tip-off their seven-game preseason schedule Oct. 8 against Flamengo, a Brazilian pro team based in Rio de Janeiro.