Report: Eric Bledsoe, Suns reach five-year, $70 million deal
In the end, it always made the most sense for Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns each to give a little and find some middle ground. Compromise should not be a dirty word. However, throughout the summer neither side would bend, at least publicly. The Suns stuck to their four-year $48 million offer and Bledsoe wanted five years at the max ($84 million).
But with pressure training camps about to open both sides got together and found the middle ground.
Phoenix threw in the fifth season and over the course of the deal bumped up the salary a couple million, Bledsoe came down on his max offer, And the two sides struck a deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe has reached agreement with the Suns on a 5-year, $70M extension, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 24, 2014
There are no options in the Bledsoe deal, league source tells Yahoo Sports. Straight five year deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 24, 2014
This seems a good deal for both sides — Bledsoe will get paid and the Suns lock up one of the best young guards in the NBA at a price (if he stays healthy) that will be fair. If you think that a $14 million a year average is too high remember the salary cap will make big jumps over the next several years with new television deal money coming in. This deal will look good in three years. Plus, Goran Dragic is a free agent for the Suns next season and while it’s not likely he bolts it is possible, now they still have an elite guard locked down.
This is also a big win for Bledsoe’s agent Rich Paul, who a number of fans (and some media) accused of making mistakes and being in over his head here. If you think he’s an amateur, you don’t know his whole story.
Bledsoe is an All-Star caliber guard — when healthy. Last season he averaged 17.7 points a game for the Suns with an impressive .578 true shooting percentage, plus he is a strong defender. The risk for the Suns is he hasn’t been healthy for a couple of seasons (he played 43 games again last season coming off knee surgery).
The Suns have Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and now Isaiah Thomas to play the point. Bledsoe can play some two, but that is a crowded and potentially very entertaining backcourt for Jeff Hornacek to figure out. Phoenix is one of the best training camp stories to watch this fall.
And now everyone in Phoenix should be happy.