3:24pm: Suns coach Jeff Hornacek didn’t address the Kings rumor, but he denied any talks with the Knicks regarding Bledsoe, as the coach spoke today on SiriusXM NBA Radio, and as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic transcribes (on Twitter). “Eric is a big part of our future and there was no entertainment of that,” Hornacek said.
11:00am: The Kings are expected to express interest in trading for Eric Bledsoe, a source tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. That wording doesn’t necessarily indicate that Sacramento will indeed pursue him, but the Kings are far more focused on making an upgrade at point guard than potential DeMarcus Cousins trades, a league executive said to Deveney.
Deveney reported a week ago that the Suns had discussed Bledsoe trade scenarios with teams including the Knicks, and while multiple other reports painted a different picture, the Suns would seriously consider trading Bledsoe if they re-sign Brandon Knight, as they’re reportedly set to do. Bledsoe is set to make $13.5MM next season in the second year of a five-year, $70MM deal.
One GM expressed concern over Bledsoe’s long-term health and coachability, and league sources indicate to Deveney that finding a taker for him wouldn’t be easy for Phoenix. The Kings also reportedly have interest in Rajon Rondo, who apparently finds the idea of a one-year deal with Sacramento intriguing, but he, too, carries some negative baggage coming off a disastrous half-season stint in Dallas.
The same league executive who said Sacramento is looking at point guards more fervently than Cousins trades told Deveney that he expects the Suns would be willing to wait to trade Bledsoe until after the market for star free agents dries up around the league, so it doesn’t appear that Phoenix is necessarily in a rush.