3:40pm: The Wolves like Bledsoe, but they’re not nearly high enough on him to drop out of their deal to send Love to the Cavs, Krawczynski tweets.
3:20pm: The Suns reached out to the Wolves today to ask about the possibility that they could sign-and-trade Eric Bledsoe for Kevin Love, but Minnesota’s agreement to deal Love to the Cavs remains in place, report Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. The trade that would send Love to Cleveland can become official as early as Saturday. The Suns have been feeling out their options for a Bledsoe sign-and-trade as negotiations with the point guard’s camp have ground to a standstill, and they’ve spoken with teams other than the Wolves, too, according to Windhorst and Shelburne.
Bledsoe has reportedly been holding out for a max deal from the Suns, and he wouldn’t accept any less in a sign-and-trade, sources tell the ESPN.com scribes. The point guard is insisting that either he receives a max deal or he’ll sign his qualifying offer and hit unrestricted free agency next summer, Windhorst and Shelburne write. Signing the qualifying offer would mean Bledsoe would be playing this coming season on a salary worth slightly more than $3.7MM, a drastic discount from the max or even the terms of the four-year, $48MM offer the Suns reportedly put on the table last month.
The Suns were one of the early teams in the mix for Love, and as recently as July 1st, Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press reported that Phoenix was expected to make a play for the power forward in case No. 1 target LeBron James went elsewhere. James agreed on July 11th to join the Cavs, but there’s been no further connection between the Suns and Love until today.
A dispatch from late last month indicated that the Suns had little interest in signing-and-trading Bledsoe, but that appears to have changed. Owner Robert Sarver said more recently that the team hadn’t heard directly from Bledsoe, a client of agent Rich Paul, in four months.