And here it is.zoran-tweet

Suns Sign @zoran_dragic to a two-year, $ 3.5 million dollar deal. PHX will pay $ 600,000 of his $ 1 million buyout.

— NBA Spectator (@nba_spectator) September 25, 2014

Zoran's first few statements

On going to the NBA

I'm very happy this happened. It was my dream to sign in the NBA, but this is only the start of, how should I say; a new era, starting from zero. I can't wait for this test and I hope I stay in the NBA as long as possible.

On minutes with Suns:

It's true that there are a lot of players there. I'll give my max at training and try to get minutes.
It's on me. The coach will decide. Have to be patient, wait for my opportunity and prove myself at practices.

On playing with Goran:

It will be nice to join forces with my brother, like we did for national team. I hope it's even better here, since we'll be together all year.

The back court is finalized.

As details of the contract emerge, we will update the story.

The Phoenix Suns grand plan, much to the head-scratching of many, is to keep their three guards - Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas - long term. Here's how they will do just that.

After signing Eric Bledsoe to a 5 year, $70 million contract in the same summer they gave a 4-year, $27 million contract to Isaiah Thomas, the Phoenix Suns have continued to heavily invest in their very successful back court tandem.

Make no mistake. Goran Dragic is in the team's plans as a starter for a very long time. When Goran Dragic and Bledsoe started together last year, the Suns were 23-11, so the Suns very much want to keep Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe together. And because the two made 44 starts together, they purposefully added Isaiah Thomas as a highly paid third guard to ensure the guard rotation is fresh and strong all season long.

Each of those three guards averaged at least 17.7 points and 5.5 assists per game a year ago. Thomas won't make those raw numbers again, barring injury to one of the starters, but he will be a super-sub off the bench and one of the league's best insurance policies.

This season, the Suns will be spending $31.23 million on their top 4 guards, including Gerald Green who put up more than 16 points per game last season himself in a spot-starter role. That is nearly 50% of the $63 million salary cap going to 40% of the team's minutes. Not a bad ratio, considering the team's three highest paid players - and four of the top five - are in that number.

You have to stop considering three of those guys as point guards, and start realizing the Suns do believe this is their back court of the future. Some day, Green may be replaced by a younger, cheaper model (Archie Goodwin, Tyler Ennis, or another player), but the trio of Bledsoe, Dragic and Thomas are truly the team's long term plan to cover most of the minutes at the two guard positions.

If nearly no one blinks at Golden State's Klay Thompson getting a big contract next summer to stay next to Stephen Curry, then you can't blink at the Suns keeping their guard tandem together either.

"We have every intention of keeping Goran in a Suns uniform as long as possible. We know he loves Phoenix. There's plenty of money for Goran next year or when it comes up. We fully anticipate taking care of him."

--McDonough to Paul Coro of on Sept 24

Goran Dragic, who makes $7.5 million this season (or $8.5 million if he makes the All-Star team), can opt out of the last year of his contract next summer and become an unrestricted free agent. But he doesn't appear to want to go anywhere. Within a week of the World Cup ending, Dragic was back in Phoenix working out with the Suns and getting with the Training Staff Mafia to prep for the season.

"Got a very interesting position with the club. Guess I'll break the contract and sign a new one. As I spoke [to the Suns], I immediately during the first week, when the market opens, sign and I will therefore be calm."

--Dragic to Slovenian press in early September

Make no mistake, Dragic has spoken to McDonough and President Lon Babby since returning to Phoenix and he was fully in the loop on the Bledsoe deal. Dragic knows that the Suns need Bledsoe, and he wants Bledsoe to stay in Phoenix.

McDonough expressed even more confidence to FoxSports910 on Wednesday afternoon, after the Bledsoe signing was done, that Dragic would re-sign next summer.

"Yes I am," he replied when asked if he is confident the Suns can retain Goran Dragic. "You know, a lot will happen between now and July 1, but we obviously want to keep Goran in a Suns uniform as long as possible. He had a terrific year last year. He loves Phoenix, he loves coach Hornacek and the organization. Those two guys are key parts of our team. We set it up cap-wise to have a lot of flexibility this summer. There's still plenty of money to give to Goran next year."

--McDonough to FoxSports910 "The Drive" on Sept 24

What would that look like? Assuming Dragic gets the same or more money than Bledsoe, can the Suns afford to spend upwards of $38 million per year on just their top three guards?

Yes, as long as the cap rises as expected. McDonough said on The Drive yesterday what others have echoed all summer in the media: he expects the new TV deal to raise the salary cap by a wide margin as early as next summer and no later than the summer of 2016. And in raising the cap, you raise individual player salaries.

Many assume the salary cap will be at least $70 million next summer. Possibly as high as $73 million. Spending just over half the cap on your best players, those who use 40% of your team's minutes, is very doable proposition. The model depends on player development. There won't be much room for mid-level salaries. The bulk of the team will be stars and kids on rookie scale deals.

The Suns have been doing this dance for thirty years, ever since free agency was introduced in 1988. The better teams generally structure their cap with 2-3 high salaries, 2-3 mid-level salaries and a handful of minimum and rookie deals.

Here are the Suns guaranteed contracts going into next summer.guar-next-summer-cap

The Suns will enter next summer as an "over the cap" team when all the cap holds are applied to expiring contracts. (Dragic, Morris 1, Morris 2, Green).cap-next-summer

They will juggle the cap holds and free agent spending to their best advantage. Note that the Suns could have $18 million to spend next summer AND retain Dragic if they want to let go of the Morris twins and Green, as long as they get the free agent commitment before Dragic signs.

Even after that, the Suns will have the mid-level exception to spend after Dragic and Morrii/free agent are under wraps. The Suns still have a lot of room to maneuver while keeping all their kids and their stars.

But the big plan is predicated on Goran Dragic staying right in the Valley.

One key component to keeping Goran in the valley just might be signing his brother Zoran. On that front, we won't have to wait long.

"We do have one open roster spot," McDonough said. "We are considering different players and Zoran is one of them. We'll know by Friday. We want to lock down our roster with training camp opening next week."

--McDonough to FoxSports910 "The Drive" on Sept 24

And this morning we get this report, from translation:

Zoran Dragic will not play against Olympiacos because he already informed Unicaja Malaga that he is going to the Phoenix Suns in the NBA, according to Rafael Molina Guerra.

Dragic will pay around €770.000 to buyout his contract and sign with his brother's team.

Welcom to the Valley, Zoran!!

Ventilation is hazardous, do not inhale this podcast...

The Summer of Eric Bledsoe came to an end with the Phoenix Suns agreeing to a 5 year 70 million contract Wednesday September 24th with their young star in the making. Sources told BSOTS that Robert Sarver still has not seen Bledsoe since April...

On a more serious note ESPN Analyst and friend of the podcast Amin Elhassan joins the show to talk about the contract more in depth. With his experience in the front office it was a no brainer to get his take on this.

In this week's podcast we discuss the numbers for Bledsoe and the Suns, the overall forecast for the team out in the dangerous Western Conference, how this effects future contract negotiations with Goran Dragic, and so much more. Dave asks a lot of questions, I make invalid arguments, and Amin humors us for 70 minutes of hoops talk.


Full Podcast: BS of the Suns Podcast Episode 65 w/ESPN Analyst Amin Elhassan Talking Eric Bledsoe Signing

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Follow Amin on Twitter @AminESPN

Read more from Amin on ESPN here

Check out TrueHoopTV now and throughout the season

The saga is over! Eric Bledsoe agreed to 5-year $70 million contract on Wednesday afternoon that will make the guard the highest paid player on the team. Originally, Bledsoe was holding out for a...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Here is what both the Suns, and Bledsoe himself had to say about the new deal shortly after Bledsoe was signed to his new contract.

Now that the deal has been finalized, with Eric Bledsoe agreeing to a contract with the Phoenix Suns for the next five years, both parties had a few things to say about the team and their partnership as stated in a press release.

Suns' President of Basketball Operations, Lon Babby, had the following to say about Eric's new deal:

I learned long ago that it doesn’t matter how stormy the sea is as long as the ship comes in and today we are thrilled that the ship has come in and Eric will remain a Sun for a long time...He will be an integral part not only of our basketball team, but our Phoenix community.

Babby addressed the drawn-out, and seemingly contentious contract negotiations that took place over the past almost three months, while showing the Suns' gratitude for being able to sign Bledsoe to a new deal, and their plans to make him a long-standing member of not only the team, but the community in Phoenix as well.

This would be a much welcomed outcome if true, being that many fans have questioned whether Bledsoe ever wanted to be in Phoenix.  Hopefully, now that the dust has settled and the ink has dried, Eric will be able to cultivate a bond with not only the organization and his teammates, but also ingratiate himself among the fans and the community as a whole.

Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough had the following to say about bringing Bledsoe back to the team:

We are thrilled Eric Bledsoe will be in a Phoenix Suns uniform for years to come...Eric is one the most exciting and dynamic two-way players in the league. He played very well for us on both ends of the floor last season and we feel he is well on his way to establishing himself as one of the elite players in the NBA.

This should come as no surprise.  Bledsoe is one of the most dynamic two-way point guards in the NBA, and he made a significant impact on the Suns last year.  In fact, the team was 25-12 when he was in the lineup along side of Dragic last year, and if he can stay healthy, there is no reason to think that he can't have the same effect in seasons to come.

Finally, let's here what the man himself, Eric Bledsoe, had to say about re-signing with the Phoenix Suns:

Lon, Ryan and the Suns have shown confidence in me, and I am looking to take that responsibility and help our team get better from last year and position ourselves to win an NBA championship...It’s why I came back to Phoenix. All summer, I knew that I really would be most comfortable coming back to Phoenix because of the great fans, my Suns teammates and our coaches. I am very happy it was able to work out this way.

This is quite a different response from the seemingly stoic, unemotional Bledsoe that many fans have grown accustomed to hearing from over the past season.  But again, you have to realize that he was aware of his impending restricted free agency, and almost certainly guarded against saying anything that would lessen his leverage, such as saying he wanted to return to the Valley of the Sun.

If Bledsoe is to be believed, this is where he wanted to be all along.  And honestly, why wouldn't he?  It isn't often that a team can go from the expectation of being one of the worst in the league, to a 48 win season and only missing the Western Conference playoffs by one game.

Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, aka The Slash Brothers, were flat out great together.  And now that the Suns have also added a third extremely talented guard to the mix in Isaiah Thomas, and also added a high scoring Rookie in T.J. Warren along with a promising rookie prospect in Tyler Ennis, the 2014-15 Suns team could be an even bigger success story than last year.

The Suns are glad to have Bledsoe back, and Bledsoe seems very happy to be a part of the Phoenix Suns over the long term.

It's a good bet that this partnership will make the fans pretty happy for seasons to come as well.

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