The Suns have tendered qualifying offers to Eric Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker, making them restricted free agents, the team announced via press release. It’s a largely academic procedural move for both, particularly in the case of Bledsoe, who seems capable of commanding a maximum salary contract. Phoenix will have the ability to match offers from other teams for each as long as their qualifying offers remain on the table.
Bledsoe’s qualifying offer is worth $3,726,966 while Tucker’s amounts to $2,875,131. Tucker, who proved one of the league’s best bargains on a minimum-salary deal the past two seasons, is high on returning to the Suns, but the client of the Arete Sports Agency is looking for a raise. It seems like it’ll take money in the neighborhood of the $5.305MM non-taxpayer’s mid-level to secure Tucker, though Phoenix’s ability to match offers might depress that figure. The Suns have his Early Bird rights, allowing them to pay up to about $6MM to re-sign him, but they can also use cap space if necessary.
The team has made it clear it will match any offer for Bledsoe, so he seems destined to remain in Phoenix, in spite of interest from the Lakers and Mavs. He’s No. 4 in the latest edition of the Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings.