Report: Eric Bledsoe and Phoenix Suns have not talked for four months

According to the Phoenix Suns managing partner, Robert Sarver, the Suns and Bledsoe have not talked since the end of the NBA season.

I have no idea what's happening anymore.

Not only is the Phoenix Suns offer of four years, $48 millionĀ more than fair to their young combo guard, Paul Coro of azcentral.com/sports is now implying that Bledsoe's camp is not even negotiating with the Suns.

"Maybe that's just posturing and negotiating," Sarver said of the reports. "We haven't heard from the guy in four months, so I couldn't tell you."

--Robert Sarver to Paul Coro, azcentral.com/sports

If that statement is true and the Bledsoe camp is closing the blinds and locking the doors and giving the Suns the silent treatment, they are mismanaging the situation.

It appears, to me, that the grand plan is to secure Bledsoe nothing short of a maximum level contract: five years, $84 million from the Suns, or four years, $63 million from someone else. Anyone else. And not sign for anything less.

Max contract? Nope

Show me a max contract player with Bledsoe's profile before signing it. I'm waiting. Can't find one? Me neither.

You don't get a max contract on half-season of starting in your whole career. You don't get a max contract without ever having made an All-Star team. You don't get a max contract with two knee injuries in the first four years of your career that cost you a half-season of playing time each.

Max offer from another team? Nope

No less than NINE teams had more than $12 million in cap space to begin the summer. NONE of them used it to make an offer to Bledsoe before spending their money somewhere else. Scratch that one off the list.

Trade to another team who will give him the max? Fat chance

If this was the Bledsoe camp's plan, it was a poorly conceived one. You cannot assume your current team will trade you. And, sure enough, the Suns have no interest in doing so. And certainly not for little in return.

A trade of Bledsoe to another team during this summer's free agency was a plan fraught with danger. The Suns could not send Bledsoe to anyone they wanted. It's Bledsoe who must find a team that:

  • he wants to play for
  • is willing to fork over huge money based on a half-season of starts
  • is also willing to give tons of value back to the Suns in trade

Well duh. I could have told you those three things had a smaller chance of happening than an iceberg materializing in Phoenix.

Wait for the max

Apparently, this is the Bledsoe camp's latest tactic. Don't bother negotiating anything less than max. Wait till someone offers it to you and let them figure out how to get you on their team. And quite possibly just leave that team dangling without so much as a "thanks" when the Suns match the offer.

Hey maybe if we hold our breath long enough, the Suns will come back with the max offer we want?

Hey maybe if we try to play the victim enough, some other team will feel bad enough for us that they offer the max contract and talk the Suns into trading Bledsoe?

Hey you know what, Eric. I KNOW you're a max player. If no one gives it to us this fall, let's wait till next summer. Surely then, someone will give us a max offer and the Suns can't stop them!

That last tactic makes me shake my head. I don't get it. There's so much that HAS to go right for that scenario to bear itself out. And even if Bledsoe puts up a season of 18/6/5 with exceptional defense, it's not like Bledsoe is a rare enough commodity in today's NBA to earn a max contract from an intelligent team.

He's a point guard in a league full of productive point guards. Lots of point guards put up similar or better numbers. Two of them are his own teammates, even.

He's not a 7-footer who can protect the rim, rebound like a madman, play pick-and-roll D, and shoot threes on a whim.

He's never even made an All-Star team.

No, Bledsoe is not a max player. And to hinge your entire future on the hope of some team throwing caution and logic to the wind to secure your services is just folly.

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