There were not a lot of big names in this year’s free agent class, but one of the biggest outside of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol was Eric Bledsoe.
Bledsoe grew into a star with the Phoenix Suns last year, as he was given free range to display his all-around talent. He can drive to the basket at will, is a decent outside shooter, and can play capable defense. In a season in which the Suns overachieved, Bledsoe was the motor that made it all go.
So it really was not a surprise that he was going to test the free agent market this summer and see what his value was worth. However, Bledsoe is finding the free agent waters very icy, even after all of the big names have found other teams. Strangely, nobody really had an interest in Bledsoe.
On Tuesday, the Suns finally made an offer to Bledsoe, offering a four-year deal worth $48 million. He saw this offer as a slap in the face, while Suns management says that the offer is fair.
I know Bledsoe wants to be paid like a top-tier player, especially considering that Gordon Hayward was offered a $64 million max contract deal, and does not nearly possess the immense offensive skills that Bledsoe provides.
However, Bledsoe may not have any other choice but to take the Suns’ offer. It’s easily the best offer for him this summer, and he’s not going to get a better offer than this. He needs to learn a lesson from Lance Stephenson, who rejected the Indian Pacers‘ $44 million deal in the hopes of landing a big payday, only to wind up signing with the Charlotte Hornets for $17 million less than the Pacers’ offer.
Bledsoe would be an idiot to walk away from this deal, even if it’s the deal he really does not want to take; trust me, he really does not want to take this deal, but he has to make the best of it. It’s not like the Suns are a lottery team. They have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs next year.
This should really be a no brainier for Bledsoe. No other team other than lottery teams have the money to pay him the offer he wants, and even the lottery teams are being fiscally tight this summer.
Take the deal, Bledsoe.