At one point, it looked like a near certainty that Eric Bledsoe would end up with a lucrative long-term deal that would keep him in Phoenix. Suns management insisted that the team would match any offers that came the restricted free agent’s way, but thus far, no team has come forward and presented the talented young guard with an offer sheet.
This late into the offseason, there aren’t many teams who could even afford to make Bledsoe an offer he’d consider signing. The fifth-year guard is reportedly seeking a five-year, $80MM contract, but the Suns have apparently been reluctant to offer him any more than a four-year $48MM pact. That’s a pretty major discrepancy in both average annual value and total guaranteed money.
The max money contract that Bledsoe is seeking is raising tension between the two sides, and Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reported that it’s looking likely Bledsoe will take Phoenix’s qualifying offer for $3.7MM. Doing so would allow him to hit unrestricted free agency next summer, but it would also mean accepting a steep discount in the interim.
The Bucks were one team said to have interest in Bledsoe, but they’d need to clear some cap space in order to give him the type of money he’s looking for. The Sixers possess the cap room to extend a max offer Bledsoe’s way, but they haven’t been reported to have any interest. If he is to hit unrestricted free agency next summer, he’s sure to draw serious attention from teams around the league; it’s just a question of whether or not he’s willing to take a pay cut in the meantime.
It’s getting pretty late into the summer, and it’s still not clear what’s going to happen. Do you think the two sides will eventually come to an agreement? Or is Bledsoe destined to take his qualifying offer and hit the open market next year? Vote below and share your thoughts in the comments section!