Two weeks ago, Paul Coro reported that Phoenix Suns small forward P.J. Tucker was arrested in May on a super extreme DUI charge.
A week ago, Coro reported that Tucker had plead guilty and announced his sentencing.
Lawyer: P.J. Tucker plead guilty to super extreme DUI. 3 jail days/11 house arrest days/IID 18 mos/5-yr probation/screening/counseling/fines— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) August 5, 2014
Now, the NBA has laid down its punishment for Tucker's actions.
NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 2014 - Phoenix Suns' forward P.J. Tucker has been suspended three games without pay for pleading guilty to driving while under the extreme influence of intoxicating liquor, in violation of the law of the State of Arizona, the NBA announced today.
Tucker's suspension will begin with the first game of the 2014-15 NBA regular season.
With Tucker suspended, the starting small forward spot will need to be filled by someone as the season opens.
Depending on how the Eric Bledsoe situation is resolved, Gerald Green could get the first crack at it. He averaged 15.8 points per game and shot 40 percent from 3-point range while splitting his season as a starter in Bledsoe's absence and a super-sub when the Suns were at full strength.
Marcus Morris, who averaged 9.8 points and 3.9 rebounds while shooting 38.1 percent from deep in 22 minutes per game last year will also get a shot.
Finally, and perhaps the only bright spot in this situation, the Suns 14th overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft T.J. Warren could very well get some playing time right away. Fans are excited by Warren's Summer League performance, and this might give him a chance to show what he can do when it really counts.
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 million 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."
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.
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.
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.
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:
Well duh. I could have told you those three things had a smaller chance of happening than an iceberg materializing in Phoenix.
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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