Eric Bledsoe went as far as to put pen to paper on his qualifying offer from the Suns over the offseason, as he tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, but he never submitted it to the team, leaving open the possibility of the five-year $70MM deal that came to fruition in late September. That’s was a game-changer for the Suns, who still have room to grow with a pair of traded first-round picks coming their way and a handful of recent first-rounders in their nascent stages of development, as SB Nation’s Paul Flannery points out. Phoenix isn’t panicking after a mediocre 6-5 start, Flannery notes, and there’s more on Bledsoe amid the latest from the Pacific Division:
- The negotiations between Bledsoe and the Suns appeared contentious, but GM Ryan McDonough insisted to Blakely, who writes in the same piece, that he had “constant communication” with the Rich Paul client’s camp throughout the process. That’s in spite of owner Robert Sarver having said over the summer that the team had gone months without speaking to Bledsoe directly.
- Draymond Green understands that the prospect of a significant raise looms in restricted free agency this coming summer, as he tells Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher. Still, he’s confident that the Warriors, already with about $77.5MM in commitments for 2015/16, can keep him. “It’d be a lie to say I don’t think about it,” he said. “But I don’t try to do anything different. If I did, everything is going to go wrong because I would be focusing on the wrong thing. I’d be stressed all year. Stress equals bad performances, which then would equal no contract. I really love it here. It’s all I know about this league. As far as the money working out, if they want me to stay here, I know there’s a way to keep me here.”
- Hoops Rumors readers overwhelmingly gave the Kings a thumbs-up for agreeing to the Rudy Gay extension, and Darren Collison echoes that sentiment, notes James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom. “I’m extremely excited,” Collison said. “This is a good step in the right direction. You think about how far this organization has come and to have players of Rudy’s caliber and his talent, DeMarcus [Cousins] is stepping up and becoming a household name [and] myself included, wanting to sign here, it just speaks a lot about this organization and what they’re trying to do. And it speaks about our future.”