Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe expected to take qualifying offer

  • Manuel Childs
Can Phoenix Suns Afford to Take Max-Contract Gamble on Eric Bledsoe?

David Zalubowski/AP Images

It is looking more and more likely that Phoenix Suns restricted free agent guard Eric Bledsoe will accept a qualifying offer to return to the team this year according to Chris Broussard.

If that were to happen, which all signs point to being a possibility, Bledsoe would receive a one year contract worth approximately $3.7 million dollars. Far from the $12 million dollars a year he would receive if he agrees to the Suns four-year $48 million dollar offer they made earlier.

That would be a huge risk not only on the part of Bledsoe but for the Phoenix Suns as well. Both parties would be taking a gamble that could impact them significantly financially and professionally. With Bledsoe the risk is more considering his injury history. He has yet to play a full season professionally as a starter and although he showed the potential to produce at a high level, not one team stepped forward to offer him the maximum-level contract he was seeking this summer. Which shows the same concern around the league that the Suns have for him staying healthy for the whole year. $48 million dollars is a lot of money to leave out there especially for someone coming off of consecutive years of knee injuries. And should the worst happen to Bledsoe or he has a bad year statistically, he would be hard pressed to find an offer better than the one the Suns have given him.

As for the Suns, they will be  signing Bledsoe for the year at a major discount considering his numbers. However their risk is once he agrees to the qualifying offer and signs it, he will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2014-2015 season and is free to walk away from the Suns with them getting nothing in return. They could still deal him at the trade deadline but if teams know they have a shot at signing him in the offseason, they may be reluctant to pull off a deal when they know they can get him without giving anything in return.

That is what seems to be the impasse the two are at as of now. The Suns general manager Ryan McDonough did play this one by the book and has come out very well thus far holding a majority of the leverage. But just like Bledsoe claimed the Suns were using restricted free agency against him, he is free to do the same in making the Suns believe he is serious in signing the qualifying offer only to have them see him walk for nothing after the season in order for them to up their deal and get more money.

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has gone on record to say the deal his team gave to Bledsoe is a fair offer. And after not one team coming out to attempt to sign him just further validates Sarver’s notion. Both sides are doing what is in the best interest of each party. Bledsoe wants to get as much money as he can now because he feels he is worth it and it would insure him should anything happen. Which is why he should take the Suns original four-year $48 million dollar deal and at the end of that deal he would be 28 and can still recieve a max deal should he continue to play the way he is capable. And Phoenix wants to save a few million dollars a year now and they sure do not want to lose a talented player such as Bledsoe for nothing. Which is why they must not let him sign the qualifying offer and grit their teeth and pay him a little more than their original offer. Because they know they were a much better team with Bledsoe on the court next to Goran Dragic then without him. The only problem for them is that Bledsoe knows it too.

Phoenix Sports-Kings Contributor, Manuel Childs

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