After three weeks of free agency, the Suns have not signed Eric Bledsoe. But neither has anyone else. Bledsoe, a restricted free agent, is considered to be the best remaining player available in free agency but he has not signed an offer sheet from any NBA team. It is due to a combination of circumstances, including how most teams have used their salary cap space, his desired price tag that is at or near a maximum-level contract and the Suns' desire and right to retain him. "We'll continue to work as hard as we can within that restricted free agency system established by the collective bargaining agreement," Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said Monday. "We continue to hope and expect that he will remain in a Suns uniform." The Suns have been negotiating with Bledsoe but also have the ability to match any offer sheet he might sign with another team. The Suns have offered a four-year, $48 million contract that is the equivalent of what free agency's other top point guard, Kyle Lowry, signed as an unrestricted free agent to remain in Toronto. Bledsoe's camp was hoping that another team would come forward with a maximum offer, like Charlotte did for Gordon Hayward at four years and $63 million with Utah matching, or that the Suns would use their ability to offer a five-year deal that could be worth more than $80 million. Philadelphia looks to be the only team that could offer a maximum-level deal and that seems unlikely after this much time, especially with Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams as their point guard and the franchise apparently not being in a win-now mode with a young roster. Milwaukee considered being a suitor but has not been involved on him for a few days and has used chunks of cap space, adding Phoenician combo guard Jerryd Bayless and former Suns point guard Kendall Marshall to a point guard tandem of Brandon Knight and Nate Wolters.
Phoenix Suns "expect" Eric Bledsoe to return
Arizona Republic | Jul 22