The relationship between the Suns and Eric Bledsoe continues to sour, and as it does, it’s looking like he’ll end up taking Phoenix’s one-year qualifying offer, worth about $3.7MM, tweets Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. That route would allow him to hit unrestricted free agency by next summer, but it would also represent a severe discount, not only on the maximum salary that Bledsoe has been seeking, but also from the four-year, $48MM offer the Suns have reportedly made. It’d be a surprising move if he ends up taking the QO, but it doesn’t seem as though the Rich Paul client is any closer to another deal. There’s more on Bledsoe amid the latest from around the league:
- Four NBA executives and two agents who spoke with Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic believe that the four-year, $48MM offer the Suns reportedly made to Bledsoe is fair and don’t think that the 24-year-old point guard has merited the maximum salary. “I’m surprised that they would offer him that much,” one of the executives said. “They don’t need to. It is really fair and, in fact, generous. He is talented, but he has never put it together very long, and he hasn’t been healthy. It’s hard to turn your team over to him.”
- The possibility that the Sixers could acquire Anthony Bennett and give up Thaddeus Young as the third team in a Kevin Love trade, one that Brian Windhorst of ESPN raised in a radio interview Monday, would be difficult to comprehend, argues Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com. Philadelphia’s purge of existing talent has been so profound that such a swap would seem like piling on, Lynam posits.
- Coming up short in bids for the Bucks and Kings prompted Steve Ballmer to pounce on the chance to strike a deal to buy the Clippers and abandon his dream of bringing the NBA back to Seattle, as he tells Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times. The former Microsoft CEO said he hopes Seattle ends up with a team eventually, though he reiterated that he has no intention of moving the Clippers.