By Alex Moss on August 6, 2014
The 2014 free agency has largely come to pass, but Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns are still at odds over Bledsoe’s next contract. Although the Suns have offered Bledsoe a hefty four-year, million deal, he is holding out for a max-level contract in the ballpark of million. Bledsoe should swallow his pride and accept the Suns’ deal. Here are five reasons why the Suns’ offer is fair.
Bledsoe has incredible athletic ability, but he lacks finesse and the skills of a max-level point guard. He had the second-worst assist/turnover ratio among 47 qualified point guards, and in Phoenix’s run-and-gun offense, accurate passing is a must. Until Bledsoe improves his handling and passing, he is not at the caliber of max-level guards.
Bledsoe’s coming-out party was cut short last season, as he only played 41 games. Half of one season as a starter is far from enough time to prove that Bledsoe is worth a max-level contract, as max-level players need to have shown that they can prove they can provide consistent production for 82 games.
Two other starting point guards make around million a year -- Ty Lawson and Kyle Lowry. All three guards displayed comparable Win Shares per 48 numbers last year, signifying comparable levels of production. All three are relatively young and have bright futures ahead of them, so why should Bledsoe make almost twice as much as Lawson and Lowry?
As each day passes, the Suns get more and more leverage in negotiations with Bledsoe. By now, very few teams have the cap space to sign Bledsoe to a max-level contact, and those teams that do have the cap space have not expressed interest in signing him. Because of Bledsoe’s lack of leverage, the Suns’ offer is looking increasingly fair.
Most importantly, the Suns have already added another starter-caliber point guard in Isaiah Thomas, who is a better passer and scorer than Bledsoe. While Bledsoe provides far superior defense to IT, Phoenix should be happy to start Thomas if Bledsoe decides to sign elsewhere. Thomas’ presence increases the Suns’ leverage and decreases the likelihood of Bledsoe receiving a max-level deal.
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