Owner Robert Sarver: Phoenix Suns not trying to lowball RFA Eric Bledsoe

Aug 2, 2014, 2:43 AM | Updated: 2:43 am
...
LISTEN: Robert Sarver, Phoenix Suns Owner

Phoenix Suns majority owner Robert Sarver made an impromptu call into the Burns & Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday evening to clear some of the air about the team’s relationship with restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe.

Phoenix reportedly offered the combo guard a four-year, $48 million deal in the middle of July, while the four-year pro apparently was looking for a maximum offer of five years and $80 million.

Sarver was asked Friday if he thought Phoenix’s initial offer was fair.

“We think it’s a fair offer. I think you could argue, you know, I mean some would say it’s maybe a little high; some would say it’s low,” the owner said. “What’s fair is important to us, and also important to him — him and his agent. It’s not necessarily us to determine what he thinks is fair; it’s him to determine that.”

Sarver said he believes Bledsoe has talked with other teams, but as of Friday, the guard has yet to sign an offer sheet with anybody. Sarver added he doesn’t know if another team has made an offer, but he knows for sure that Bledsoe hasn’t signed anything yet.

The owner also said that he’s not concerned, at this point, about if the team’s relationship with Bledsoe is becoming strained.

“We’re a professional organization, and he’s a professional player,” he said. “And he’s a high-character guy. And his agent (Rich Paul), whose main client LeBron (James), is the utmost competitor and professional.

“As an organization, we do our 100 percent best to get behind the player and support him as best as possible. And what professional players do, regardless of how their contract works out, when it’s time to play, they play as hard as they can — for themselves, their teammates and for the organization. So what takes place before a contract is signed usually doesn’t have a lot of bearing on what takes place after a contract is signed — when you have a high-character athlete and a high-quality organization.”

Sarver then commented on the team’s impression with Bledsoe through his first season in the Valley, in which he scored 17.7 points and added 5.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds per contest in 43 appearances.

“We like Eric a lot, and I think Eric did well with our organization last year. And I think he enjoys his teammates and his coaches and his organization. And so, from a basketball standpoint, I think it’s a good relationship.”

Sarver added that the team didn’t try to lowball Bledsoe in their first offer to him because of his restricted status.

“We think we gave him a fair offer, and (we would) be more than happy to sit down with him and continue to negotiate it. We’re happy to do that,” he said.

A Portland Trail Blazers insider recently reported several league sources saying the Suns’ relationship with the 6-foot-1 guard is on the verge of being irreparably damaged, but Sarver refused to agree with that forecast.

“I think Eric’s a great guy. And he’ll be happy here when he gets here, whether that’s for one year or for four years or five years,” he said. “I think his agent’s trying to do the best job he can, too. And I have a pretty good relationship with his agent. It’s just part of the process. I wish it would have been resolved earlier, but it is what it is.”

The 10-year Suns owner was also asked if he thinks people from Bledsoe’s camp are fueling some of the drama surrounding the contract negotiations. Sarver said it’s a possibility, but that he’s not bothered by it either way.

“I think probably so, but I don’t know that that really, at the end of the day, will have any impact on the relationship with Eric and the organization or even with his agent and his organization,” he said. “I just think that’s just how a lot of this stuff is done. I mean there’s so (many) smokescreens … That part of it doesn’t bother me.”

Sarver also refused to agree with the notion that Bledsoe’s agent is inexperienced and over his head.

In closing, the owner also tried to put the whole negotiations process into perspective.

“One thing fans have got to remember is: Players, their careers are very short,” he said. “And at any given moment, they could be a lot shorter. You don’t know. And so, they’re trying to maximize what they can make. They’re not like movie stars where they can go cut a box office hit when they’re 45 or 55 years old like John (Gambadoro) is. They want to maximize what they can make. And that’s OK.”

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Washington Commanders guard Chris Paul works during a rookie minicamp practice at the team's NFL fo...
Haboob Blog

Chris Paul or CP3? Commanders quiz their rookies

Chris Paul, Washington Commanders rookie guard, shares a name and position with Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul.
12 hours ago
Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to pass against Raja Bell #19 0f the Phoenix Suns in...
Arizona Sports

The 5: Suns to earn 1st Team All-Defense honors before Mikal Bridges

Suns forward Mikal Bridges made the NBA's First Team All-Defense as announced Friday, becoming the first Suns player to do so since 2007.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones speaks to the media regarding the firing of Suns head coac...
Kevin Zimmerman

Phoenix Suns salary cap Q&A for the 2022 offseason

Here's a quick Q&A covering how the Phoenix Suns might navigate this offseason from a financial perspective.
3 days ago
(Instagram/LeagueFits)...
Jake Anderson

Suns’ Devin Booker wins LeagueFits MVP, Chris Paul named to 2nd Team

Phoenix Suns All-Star guards Devin Booker and Chris Paul were recognized for their drip off the court by LeagueFits on Friday.
3 days ago
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns steals the ball from Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks ...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns’ Mikal Bridges named to NBA’s 1st Team All-Defense

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges was named to the NBA's First Team All-Defense, the league announced on Friday.
3 days ago
Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder, center, pass the ball to teammate JaVale McGee (00) as he drives ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Suns’ offseason questions: How Phoenix can remake role player ecology

The Suns could be faced with trading veterans and retooling their bench to save money and better complement Devin Booker and company.
3 days ago
Owner Robert Sarver: Phoenix Suns not trying to lowball RFA Eric Bledsoe