The Phoenix Suns pulled off a trade this off-season that landed them highly thought of young point guard Eric Bledsoe, which will start the process of righting the ship for this franchise in the 2013-2014 NBA season. The Suns have had a rough history recently involving bad contracts, poor team structure and so on and Bledsoe is the first piece in making that turnaround happen.
However, the Suns are going to have to do some work to keep Bledsoe around beyond this season. Bledsoe is in the last year of his rookie contract this season and, if the Suns plan on keeping him around without him going into free agency, they will need to sign him to an extension before the Oct. 31 deadline.
As Marc Stein of ESPN recently pointed out, the free agency pool for the summer of 2014 is loaded with talent, but not really in terms of point guards. If Bledsoe were to hit the open market, especially after what figures to be a productive season in Phoenix where he’s “the guy,” he’d almost surely fetch top-dollar.
Stein’s point later in the article is that the Suns are basically forced to show their hand in the coming week. They would ideally like to see how Bledsoe performs this season as their featured guard, but that’s not really in the cards as they try to continue to clear cap-space, which would be negated by trying to sign Bledsoe in free agency for the aforementioned reason that he’s going to get a bunch of money thrown his way.
It’ll be interesting to watch how new general manager Ryan McDonough handles the next week into the start of the regular season. If he plans to both keep Bledsoe long-term and continue to clear cap-space, I would, like Stein, expect to see extension talks shaping up very soon.