HoopsHype Eric Bledsoe rumors

September 17, 2014 Updates

There has not been a peep from the defense, other than the reserved guard's July comment that the Suns were "using restricted free agency against me, but I understand that." His "big brother" and fellow agency client, LeBron James, appealed to the Suns via Instagram to "break bread" for Bledsoe as he and Bledsoe trained in Cleveland this month. James' plea and the early Bledsoe maximum-contract request appear to indicate he wants to be in Phoenix, even though he has never said it or entered negotiations that could still draw a larger offer. With no signs of talks or a sign-and-trade, Bledsoe is two weeks from taking a qualifying offer that will not win much more favor with Suns fans. Arizona Republic

It has been a trying, bewildering and exasperating process to fathom how Bledsoe, with 78 career starts and $7.4 million in career earnings, would balk at the Suns' four-year, $48 million offer when there have been no competing bids the past 10 weeks. He has his reasons, but we can only guess. Bledsoe is a restricted NBA free agent — the last one — who appears headed toward accepting a one-year, $3.73 million qualifying offer by the Oct. 1 deadline (if he waits until Oct. 1, he will not be part of the Sept. 29 media day or be aboard the bus to training camp). Arizona Republic

September 7, 2014 Updates

Eric Bledsoe's whereabouts never have included Phoenix since the end of the regular season in April. Bledsoe has not even been close with his recent locales. He mostly has been training and with his family in his hometown of Birmingham. He popped into Atlanta a week ago for a party and workout with college buddy John Wall. He spent some of last week in Cleveland for a workout with LeBron James that was marked by James prodding the Suns with a "PHX break bread" Instagram post regarding Bledsoe, his fellow Klutch Sports Group client. Arizona Republic

September 5, 2014 Updates

Bledsoe’s future with his current team, the Phoenix Suns, has been the subject of much speculation in the off-season due to wage demands and contract negotiations. It’s even more complicated because Bledsoe is a restricted free agent, making any conventional transfer practices expensive and/or difficult. Considering Bledsoe hasn’t spoken with the Suns organization in four months according to CBS Sports, the caption James posted for the above photo on his Instagram profile is very interesting. “Great work today lil bro @ebled2!! Future All-Star in this league in no time. PHX break bread. #Klutch #Work #GymRats #StriveForGreatness” For The Win

On his Instagram account, LeBron James, whose power was apparent in the league's deafening silence in July as his own announcement held free agency hostage, posted a picture of himself and the so-called "Mini LeBron" with the caption, "Future All-Star in this league in no time. PHX break bread." Yahoo! Sports

September 3, 2014 Updates

If Bledsoe elects to go the rare qualifying offer route, Phoenix would suddenly face the very real possibility of losing both of its two best assets without compensation in 2015 free agency. The Lakers, for example, are just one team league sources say would likely make a hard run at both of them, based on the premise that the Suns couldn't afford the cost of paying both at that point, theoretically making either Bledsoe or Dragic gettable. Sources say that Houston, furthermore, has Dragic on its list of potential targets next summer given how he's blossomed since leaving the Rockets for Phoenix in the free-agent summer of 2012. ESPN.com

My sense is that Bledsoe and Paul are indeed prepared to take the qualifying offer despite the rarity of the strategy. And you can't help but wonder, in the Suns' case, what sort of season awaits the NBA's plucky darlings of 2013-14 if that's how it plays out. ESPN.com

The league's new labor agreement in 2011, thanks to one of the union's many concessions, moved up the deadline for signing qualifying offers to Oct. 1. Otherwise this saga potentially could have dragged out even longer. Or have you forgotten Anderson Varejao's foray into restricted free agency in the summer of 2007? In that instance, Varejao's agent Dan Fegan rejected what he felt was an unworthy offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers and waited until December until he landed the offer sheet he felt Varejao deserved. Charlotte eventually came through with a two-year, $11 million pact that the Cavs ultimately matched ... after playing without Varejao for the first two months of the season. ESPN.com

August 25, 2014 Updates
August 22, 2014 Updates

The Suns have contacted at least one team and taken inquiries from others regarding the possibility of executing a Bledsoe sign-and-trade. That would include the Suns signing Bledsoe, a restricted free agent, to a contract on behalf of another team in exchange for player(s) and/or draft pick(s). Other league executives who have not been contacted by the Suns said that they have heard Phoenix is looking into the possibility. The Suns declined comment. Arizona Republic

The Suns never closed the door to the possibility of a sign-and-trade with Bledsoe since free agency began July 1 but were adamant this summer that their priority and preference was to sign Bledsoe to a long-term contract. That remains the case. They sought him in a trade last summer and built a system to fit the way he and Goran Dragic play — and because of their ability to sign Bledsoe or match another team's offer sheet. The Suns won two-thirds of their games when Bledsoe and Dragic started together last season. Arizona Republic

Given the stalemates that have gone on with Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe and Pistons forward Greg Monroe, the best option for both players would seem to be some sort of sign-and-trade. Bledsoe has been shopped around the league for the past month, while the Washington Post’s Michael Lee reports that Monroe’s agent, David Falk, has sought sign-and-trade deals to get his client out of Detroit. But, as one league general manager told Sporting News this week, their potential free agency next summer has cooled the market for each. Sporting News

August 20, 2014 Updates

Yesterday, local sportscaster Jude LaCava went on FoxSports 910 radio, "The Drive", and told the world that the Phoenix Suns have now hung out the "Open for Business" sign on Eric Bledsoe's locker. "I'll tell you this, and I think this is the first time it's reported," Jude LaCava said on Tuesday, "I do believe in my NBA sources. You can take this to the bank, so to speak, the Suns are now discussing trade possibilities for Eric Bledsoe. That's the new chapter to this and I wouldn't back off of that information. I think it's 100% correct." Bright Side of the Sun

"I think it's safe to say 'open for business'," LaCava said. "The decision makers, [managing partner Robert] Sarver and [PBO Lon] Babby and hopefully Ryan McDonough, they are open to that possibility. It's got to be right. It's got to be the right return in what they are looking for. It's to the point that if they can accommodate Bledsoe and get something they want in return, trade possibilities are very, very real and they have been discussed." Bright Side of the Sun

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