Eric Bledsoe contract extension in the works, Suns’ GM says


Apparently, the Phoenix Suns are mighty serious about extending guard Eric Bledsoe before the Halloween deadline. General manager Ryan McDonough told the Burns and Gambo show on Wednesday that the team has been involved in talks regarding a contract extension for Bledsoe.

They hope to reach a deal before the Oct. 31 deadline that if passed would lead to Bledsoe reaching restricted free agency next summer.

“If we’re not able to work out a deal (by Oct. 31), we would start next summer with Eric as a restricted free agent, but obviously we’re hoping to get something done before that,” the general manager said.

In the radio interview, McDonough admits that signing Bledsoe to an extension is a projection more than anything. The guard’s scoring capabilities and court vision are clearly there, but Bledsoe is still a project in terms of commanding an offense. Without having evidence he can play as a true point guard might not even matter. At the least, the Suns hope Bledsoe can carve out a career as an elite defender.

Rather than the Suns fending off outlandish contract offers from other teams next summer, Phoenix hopes that it signs him to a respectable deal now and that Bledsoe outplays his contract this year. The risk in inking a deal before the season is that his ceiling is lower than the hype — and thus the market — drummed up.

So is he worth an extension that is likely to be for four seasons and at least $40 million?

  • john

    Yes, he is. For one, the Suns don’t have a better option at the moment. For two, the Suns likely won’t return to relevance until the END of that deal at the earliest (when he will be easiest to move, in case things aren’t working out). There’s very little risk and potentially very high reward. $10M per is a bit of a stretch, but I’d still do it.

  • DBreezy

    Kevin,

    You guys are probably in the best position to say. At least for me, this is the least I’ve seen the Suns in preseason in a long time. No tv, my schedule didn’t line up with when they had home games to attend, and I didn’t even get to go to the open practice like I usually do.

    I won’t freak out if they sign him to a reasonable extension, but it would definitely make things interesting. I don’t even think Goran and Eric believe that this two pg lineup is going to last beyond this season at the most. Eric isn’t going to extend unless he receives assurances that ultimately the job is his. Goran is too good to be a backup and he’s been through this deal before with Lowry in Houston. He will also notice that the Suns will be paying Eric anywhere from 1-3M more per season than him. The Rox were in playoff contention then which keeps such issues from bubbling up too much, but the Suns won’t be.

    Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t extend Bledsoe, just that I wonder where things will go. Goran’s contract is reasonable just like Marcin’s but I could see him being tough to move as well. Not a lot of playoff caliber teams need a pg and for 3 years at 7M+ you better want Goran as a big part of your rotation going forward in the new luxury tax world. For example I’m sure a team like Indiana might have some interest but they’re setting themselves up so that George’s extension kicks in as Granger’s salary falls off and I doubt an additional 14-15M beyond this season was in Bird’s plans. Also I tend to doubt that McD wants a pg back in any deal for more than a season which could complicate things.

  • Luka

    Expect a package of: Gortat, Dragic, Markieff Morris, and a draft pick to be dealt for a PF or SG by February.

  • Foreveris2long

    If necessary I would do the deal up to $10m/yr as I mentioned yesterday. Is he worth that amount today? No. I do think he will prove to be worthy of it over the next two seasons when he and the Suns grow together. I think the more offensive minded the Suns get the better Bledsoe will become in the assist category. Everything I have read and heard is he is an extremely hard worker. Living in Southern California, I have probably seen him play more than most and am very impressed with natural attributes and unselfish demeanor on the court. I think it will be a good investment for the Suns.

    The flip side is the collateral damage to Dragic who is also very good. If a playoff hopeful loses a point guard Phoenix will likely get a call for Dragic. If Dragic and Bledsoe were both 23, I doubt Phoenix would have traded for Bledsoe but like John said or implied above they want Bledsoe to be at his best when the Suns are championship relevant or at least a top 4 seed in the West.

    He has good upside, great work ethic and is young. I would definitely do it. I think him and Green play exceptionally well together.

  • JD

    “So is he worth an extension that is likely to be for four seasons and at least $40 million per year?”

    Wow, $40M/yr would make LeBron a “maxi-Bledsoe” not the other way around!

    OK, I know that it was supposed to be “$10 million per year?” but I couldn’t resist a little joking.

    I cringe a little at the $10M/yr. I’d feel better about $8M/yr but I’m sure that won’t get it done with Bledsoe’s camp.

  • john

    Haha, good catch JD. Didn’t even notice that.

  • Kevin Zimmerman

    Yikes, thanks for the catch, JD. Edited.

    And I tend to agree that Bledsoe is worth re-signing at $10 million per year. I’m curious if the Suns can score that type of deal with him before Halloween, however. Perhaps a base salary with some incentives (All-Star appearances, etc.) would be a good way to motivate Bledsoe and protect the Suns.

  • Robert Sarver

    Hey Suns fans, Robert here…

    We are excited to have everyone on board as we ignite the future. With a new coach and new GM come new possibilities, and we feel we’ve lifted off to a new start and there’s a lot to be excited about. Our future is beginning to come into view.

    Part of that future is Eric Bledsoe. We have heard concerns that he is unproven, and plays the same position as fan favorite Goran Dragic. Rest assured that we are being progressive in securing what we feel is an elite talent in this league.

    In this new CBA landscape you want to allow the player to grow into your system. We have see. A trend where teams have made an initial investment on a star with potential and have seen them develop and grow with the franchise.

    Having said that we know the realities of over expenditures as they pertain to talent evaluation. We do not want to over extend our financial outreach in a reckless manner but rather allow the organic process of rebuilding dictate our fiduciary allocation.

    Thanks again everybody, and we can’t wait to see you at the games!

    Best regards,
    Robert Sarver

  • Ty-Sun

    When you look back at the way the trade for Bledsoe came down, it wasn’t so much that McD was looking to get him specifically but he saw an opportunity to get involved as a third team facilitator that brought back a young, talented player that still has a lot of upside potential. With that in mind, I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that “the plan” is to make Bledsoe the Suns PG of the future and eventually trade Dragic.

    If the Suns can sign Bledsoe to a reasonable extention ($8-9 mil per year) and he plays well for the Suns, other teams might be calling the Suns asking for trade terms for Bledsoe once he is able to be traded (which I think is mid-December).

    Without a doubt the Suns will be getting some offers for one of their PGs before the trade deadline but which one stays and which one goes might depend more on the offers they get than anything else.

  • Luka

    The Suns new slogan is “ignite the future” but they’ll likely just be igniting the barbecue come April.

  • Sillmarillion

    I wouldn’t give him that money. IIRC Holiday gets 41M/4yrs and Bledsoe is much weaker than Holiday. Also, I don’t understand why he should get much more money than Dragic. I would offer him 8M/yr (which is also too much imo). If he declines let him become a RFA. I doubt that other teams will pay him more.

  • Foreveris2long

    Ty, We can only speculate as to the intent of McD with regards to Bledsoe specifically, as no one knows but his inner circle. However we do know during the 2013 draft process they worked out point guards as he essentially commented he was committed to improving the overall talent on the team. Therefore in my mind he was not sold on Dragic being the point guard of the future for the Suns or at least not the point guard when they became relevant again. It seems he was looking into an upgrade for every position and rightfully so since we only won 25 games last season.

  • DBreezy

    I think they also have to consider how likely it is that he could be in a position to command more next summer. Look at Eric Gordon who we’re all familiar with. Going into the 2011-2012 season the Hornets still had Ariza, Okafor, Kaman, Landry, Jack, Bellinelli, with youngins Ayon, Aminu, and Henry. That’s not a playoff team, but it was a team that if healthy (it wasn’t) could have won somewhere in the 30-35 area showcasing Eric Gordon who was already a career double digit scorer coming off a 22ppg season. There was considerable risk in New Orleans electing not extend him unless they absolutely knew he was damaged goods then which would have made the CP3 trade make even less sense.

    Contrast that to Bledsoe. He does not have the resume coming into this season that guys like Holiday, Jennings, Teague, Lawson, etc did coming into their extension season. I am not saying that people have to like any of those players more or less than Eric, just saying that those guys all had better resumes and playoff experience at the time of their extensions or RFA statuses.

    Jennings and Teague are the most recent pg’s (ignoring Wall) who got deals and the both basically got 8M with stronger resumes and stronger teams. Bledsoe will be at the helm of a young team that needs a lot of help. He doesn’t have the weapons to pass to inside or out that those other guys had. He and Dragic are both going to be the focus of opponents defenses and will often have their hands full defensively as well. We saw how it wore on Goran and this team doesn’t have Scola or Duds to pass to. There’s no one to isolate like Beasley and Scola did. I’m not even talking about the effectiveness of such plays, just that they took some of the pressure of Goran on a few possessions a night.

    Even if Bledsoe is in fact a stud, how much will his numbers/impact really show it this season? Enough to command more than 2M a year more than Jennings and Teague just got as a RFA? Enough to make a playoff run which helped Lawson, Jennings, Holiday, and Teague? I tend to doubt it seriously so I’d keep the cap around 8M. The Suns aren’t in the position of Utah where they need to overpay just to keep people in the city.

  • Foreveris2long

    “No longer in the shadow of Chris Paul, Bledsoe looks ready to take off. Awesome athlete with All-Star potential.”

    The above quote came from Hoopshype Season Preview article about the Suns.

  • john

    Am I the only one who thinks dragic and Bledsoe can actually work well together? Especially if one (or both) of them can learn to shoot, I think they could be a deadly perimeter combo.

  • Scott

    I’d hoped the Suns might be able to work out a trade of Gortat for Perkins + Adams before Adams showed everyone how good he was. Guess that ain’t gonna happen now. :(

    http://dailythunder.com/2013/10/the-side-part-the-coolness-of-steven-adams/

  • Ty-Sun

    @john – I do think it’s possible that Dragic and Bledsoe can work well together. But they are both primarily PGs and it is possible that some other team that needs a PG will make McD an offer that he just can’t refuse for one of them, especially if the do work well together in the Suns backcourt.

    @ Foreveris2long – The workout of PGs during the draft process could just as easily have been because the Suns had little faith in Marshall. The deal that landed Bledsoe in the Valley just seems more like McD was sharp enough to see an opportunity to grab a super-athletic player with a lot of potential than McD specifically going after Bledsoe. As for Dragic not being the PG of the future for the Suns, that really depends on how long it will take the Suns to become relevant again. Dragic just turned 27 and has several more prime years to go and he just kept getting better as the season went on last year. How old was Nash when he won his first MVP award? How old was Nash when he led the Suns to their last western conference finals appearance? Yes, Goran isn’t Steve but just because Bledsoe is younger than Dragic doesn’t make him the future of the Suns.

  • DBreezy

    John,

    Even if they learned to shoot long term when you’re looking at hopefully being a playoff team again, it’s hard to ignore the defensive matchup issues. Looking at last years WC playoff teams you’re talking about having to cover Kobe, Harden, Thompson/Iggy, Green/Ginobili, Lamb/Sefolosha, Allen, Reddick/Dudley.

    Not everyone of those players is an offensive stud, but all are bigger than the Bledsoe/Goran backcourt and over the course of the playoffs those types of mismatches tend to wear you out unless you’re otherworldly like Lebron and Wade.

    One of the tough things about evaluating a deep lottery team is that teams often play just hard enough to beat you most nights. They often don’t buckle down and focus hard on executing the scouting report all night long meaning some of your weaknesses are hidden until you take the next step competitively as a team. There are no rankings on the line for how bad a pro team beats another pro team that it was supposed to beat.

  • NOitall

    Bledsoe is a unique prospect. Usually in regards to guys with “upside” we talk about their offensive potential. Often we get caught up in their ability to score, like we see in Lillard. Yet too often, those prospects, while talented and capable in some areas, don’t translate to wins or efficient play. Monta Ellis was viewed this way for years and over the course of his career, he has proven to be no more than what he was then – an inefficient scorer who contributed little to winning.

    Bledsoe looks to be a prospect that has something different going for him. While he seems to have promise in the area of offensive production and playmaking ability, it seems from my perspective that Bledsoe’s best attributes are his defensive capabilities and mentality, as well as being a solid team guy who takes coaching.

    I think you take a gamble on this kid.

  • NOitall

    @dbreezy

    you make a point.

    I would argue size is overrated. Dragic and Bledsoe have the requisite tenacity, skill, will and mentality to play solid defense. Getting a bigger 2 won’t help unless they too have those traits. It will work just fine. It is the offensive end where there are question marks with those two.

  • DBreezy

    @NOitall,

    In the regular season I tend to agree with you and for this lottery season it’s no big deal either. But if you’re talking about long term contracts and plans, I have a tough time buying into something that really only worked at a high playoff level with a superstar in Allen Iverson.

    You mentioned Ellis, it’s no coincidence that GS defensive improvement coincided with them getting rid of the Ellis/Curry backcourt-not to dismiss the offensive concerns as you mentioned. The playoffs are killers on poor matchups. A guy like Faried trying to guard Z-Bo one night in January is very different than 7 games in May. It’s also why people liked Deron Williams over CP3 for many years. Deron at his best is a ‘bodysnatcher’ pg who overpowers you which is huge in the postseason when they don’t call certain fouls. Us Suns fans saw it with KJ and Nash, Hornets and Clips fans see it with CP3. Parker has been a notable exception in today’s game.

    I agree with you btw on taking a gamble on Bledsoe, I’m just not buying into going much north 8M per season at this point. He hasn’t proven he’s worth it yet and this season isn’t really setup for him to do so. Now if the Suns had some of the young guys they passed on instead of Marshall and the Morrii, I’d be singing a different tune on that last point. As it is, he’s not setup for a big statistical season so I want to see Lon do what he’s paid to do: close the deal at an advantageous number for the Suns.

  • Foreveris2long

    Ty you said the Suns could have been working out point guards because they could have been looking for a backup point guard to replace Marshall. I think if Blanks was still the GM he would consider using a good lottery pick for a backup but I bet McD would not waste a #5 pick in the lottery for a backup point guard on a team that is talent poor..

  • Ty-Sun

    Foreveris2long, it’s all conjecture. McD certainly didn’t waste a #5 draft pick on a backup PG… but perhaps he was thinking about using the 30th pick (which turned into the 29th pick) on a backup PG? After all, there has been a lot of talk about whether trying to make Goodwin into a PG is a good/bad idea just on this board. Goodwin will never be a starting PG in the NBA but I’d rather have him as a backup than Marshall… plus he has a lot more upside as a 2 but could have filled in (and still may) at a 3rd PG if necessary for the Suns.

    Working out PGs before the draft didn’t mean that McD was looking for someone to draft with the 5th pick or that he was looking for someone to replace Dragic. Teams don’t only workout players that they are looking at taking with their highest draft pick.

  • melon man

    If an extension happens it should be at less than what Goran is making. It should also be at probably no more than Kyle Lowry makes which is about $6 million. Bledsoe reminds me of Lowry in many ways yet for some reason it’s a comparison I never see made.

    I hope Bledsoe is on his way out and not our projected point guard of the future or even point guard of now. If there are GMs out there that buy the Bledsoe hype then cash in on that and sell him now.

  • Azbballfan

    The Suns need to figure out who is going to be on this team a few years from now, they have alot of cap space and newer CBA rules allow teams to choose a designated player and offer that player a 5 year deal instead of 4

    really, this team in the future will have major money likely committed to 3 players

    possibly Bledsoe, Len if he works out, our 2014 picks

    for the Suns to get really good, not only does the talent have to gel, but someone is going to have to take a paycut

    i would rather flip Bledsoe for assets than give him a bloated contract i cant trade easily

    i would give him 8 mil a year but no more

  • Auggie5000

    Was that actually Robert Sarver?

  • foreveris2long

    Ty I doubt that McD worked out Burke from Univ of Michigan thinking he would slip to 29 when he was projected to be a top ten pick.

  • Michael

    @DBreezy:

    I do think we wouldn’t have to worry about defensive mismatches come playoff basketball. Don’t forget Goodwin who will hopefully be a big part of the guard rotation once we are contenders again (2016?). Bledsoe is a defensive beast and while he is small indeed, he has a huge wingspan. Goran is quite tall for a PG, so he is able to defend most of the league’s SG. Archie is raw but very talented, especially on the defensive end and he has the perfect size and wingspan to defend any SG.
    Plus, SG is such a weak position now in the NBA, I really don’t see any mismatch for those three, which I hope will be our guard rotation of the future.
    Eric is not worth 10mil.yet, but it wouldn’t destroy our financial future.

  • DBreezy

    @Michael,

    I agree that SG is a weak position in the league compared to the past which is a big part of why I didn’t say that I thought size mismatches would be a big problem in the regular season. While teams do considerable amount of scouting during the regular season, unless it’s one of those big in-season matchups most teams don’t elect to attack teams the way they will in the postseason. Even then they usually don’t show all their tricks.

    For example, if the Suns play the Clips in the regular season they may not do much special to get 6-7 Jared Dudley shots at the 2 vs. Goran. In fact they may not even play him much at the 2 vs. the Suns. But in the playoffs it would be different. They would not only do the obvious and post Goran, but they would likely run him off a bunch of screens that allow Jared to get easy jumpers right over the top of Goran before he can deny the pass.

    I would expect a lot of double post screen action for Duds to either pop to the baseline for an easy short jumper if Goran goes over the top or curls to the middle for another easy short jumper if he trails. You come out with a CP3, Duds, Barnes, Griffin, Jordan lineup so that Goran is forced to guard someone bigger than him and in the aforementioned play if the bigs try and help Goran you punish them with lobs to the bigs. If the Suns try to sag, hit em with CP3′s deadly FT jumper or even go to Barnes for a jumper. Barnes looking shaky that even on J’s? Go with 6-7 shooter Reggie Bullock instead. With the Suns needing to play both Goran and Bledsoe 30+ minutes a night to win, the Clips benefit either way. Goran stays on the court and they punish them with mismatches all night long or he gets in foul trouble and you get a key player off the court.

    You never see such stuff in the regular season, but you do in the playoffs. People always wanted to look for the simple reason (man crush) vs the hoops reason for why D’Antoni stuck with Diaw for so long especially out there with Amar’e. To me it was always about the Spurs in the playoffs though. The Spurs crossmatched the Suns to death defensively essentially putting the whole offense on Amar’e’s scoring. Bowen was free to either kill Matrix’s energy game or harass Nash depending on Pop’s whim at the moment. If Boris would have simply abandoned his beloved high post spot to Stat and elected to punish the Spurs offensively on the box, something would have to give as it wouldn’t have been nearly as easy to hide Manu and Tony defensively without letting someone else loose.

    That Boris was far too stubborn for that though preferring to either pass from the box or pout and disengage completely if he didn’t get enough touches at the high post. Boris really didn’t get it until his time in Charlotte and SA, past the athletic prime where he really could have done the most damage with his game. I was glad he didn’t get a chip (bitters!)

    As for Goodwin, I haven’t forgotten him. Hopefully by the time the Suns are a playoff team again he’s a fixture as a starter. Thing is, if you’re paying 15-17M for Goran and Eric, you’re not going to bench one of them. It’s the same situation the Warriors experienced with Steph Curry, Monta Ellis, and Klay Thompson. It forced Klay to the 3, where he has good size but the team was much worse defensively. So Archie gets moved to the three and you have another matchup problem.

    It’s hard to say if 10M would destroy their financial future at this point in time, but I still don’t see it being worth paying Eric more than 8 right now. Even at 8M, you’re still paying him more than the current market value of players who have already proven what Eric hopes to this season. Players who are young and can just as easily pull the upside card out at the negotiating table. If everything works out for McD, he’s looking at a mini-max for Len, a mini-max for the 2014 #1 pick, and possibly something close that for Archie. If they’re all worth that kind of money, that’s in the neighborhood of 40-42M before you add in Bledsoe and Goran’s salary. Both of those guys would put you pretty much at the current cap for 5 players.

    Obviously that’s one reason why only one of Eric and Goran will be here long term, but it does give one pause when thinking about what presently looks like a mere 2M extra per year over market for Bledsoe’s potential. I know that’s a lot of speculation for a deep lottery team in the dumps, but if you look around the league you can see a lot of lottery teams making similar kinds of decisions because far fewer teams want to be tax payers under this cba. It’s a big factor in why extensions for young players who have proven themselves aren’t as automatic as before and why the value of their eventual deals has plummeted. Brandon Jennings passed on a 40M extension and got 24M a year later.

  • Michael

    Great stuff, DBreezy, a lot of thoughts that I totally or partially agree.
    It would just drive me crazy to not extend Bledsoe for ~2 Mio. saving per year. We have long suffered a potential all star player, and while he is quite not yet there, his potential is undeniable. Letting him out after only one year, and then he explodes for the Spurs or Lakers or wherever he might end would just be such a horrible imagination, that I would rather pay him those 10 Mio. bucks per year.
    As for the financial situation come season 2016/17: I agree that you might have to plan for paying Len/2014 pick/ Archie or anyone else those mini-max deals. But as Goran´s actual contract is off the books latest 2016 (he may even opt out 2015 to get more money elsewhere), Len and Archie are on cheap contracts until 2017, the 2014 pick until 2018, I don´t see the need to decide within 7 days from now if Goran OR Bledsoe will be our guard of the future.
    Even with an extension of Bledsoe now, you can play both together for the next 2-3 seasons and see how it works and see the development of Archie etc.
    Come 2016 you can evaluate if
    a) it works finance-wise and
    b) on the court with both Goran and Eric.

    Eric will most likely be as well tradeable with a 10 mio./year deal.

  • Azbballfan

    Great posts Michael and DBreezy

    Middle Market teams like the Suns cant just drive a dump truck full of money to whoever they want

    one of the great advantages of being the Lakers, Heat Knicks, Celtics, or Bulls is that they are large market teams that can just keep resigning their free agents no matter the cost

    The Lakers have a TV deal right now thats projected to rake in several billion dollars in revenue before its all said and done

    We however dont have that kind of luxury

    I know Suns fans hate the spurs, but they have won their titles as a small market team by scouting, getting one lucky pick, and most importantly keeping the team together

    if only the Suns could have all time greats that were the 29th pick in the draft in parker and 58th in Ginobli

    if we have to move bledsoe, i would advocate for 2 things

    future cap space and draft picks

    taking back an expensive player on a multi year deal would be a disaster unless its the right player

    just one guy expensive player coming back in a trade isnt going to take you from league doormat to deep playoff run

    especially now that the NBA is weak at center, and truly dominating players like Shaq have retired, its not a good idea to flip bledsoe for anything but a young cheap prospect, cap space, or draft picks.

    preferably all 3

    how about a trade between the Suns and Jazz?

    Phoenix sends Eric Bledsoe, Shannon Brown, and Gerald Green to Utah for Andreis Beidrins, Gordon Hayward, and Utahs 1st round pick in 2014

    Gordon Hayward would give us a long term starter at the 3, gets us expiring deal in Beidrins, and a likely lottery pick from Utah

    Utah gets a cheap deal on Green, an expiring deal on Brown, and adds Bledsoe who gives them there backcourt of the future with Bledsoe and Trey Burke

    getting Beidrins out of Utah also opens up time for Rudy Gobert, thereby making Utah even younger and thus worse,which in the long run helps us 8)

  • DBreezy

    Michael,

    I definitely see your point and others, in some respects I think we have the same point just different numbers. While I wouldn’t actually offer Bledsoe something as low as the 4-5M that Scott talked about previously, it probably is closer to his actual market value today. That’s hypothetically speaking as if Eric were signing a one year deal for just this upcoming season. So to me, 8M is like giving him 3-4M over his present market value-up to double his current market value in starting value and then you have the standard 7.5% raises each season thereafter.

    I’m not so sure Eric will be tradeable at 10M per. He’s younger and has more upside than Goran, so if you’re looking to trade him down the line it’s likely because he isn’t performing better than him. When you look at the contracts of comparable players I’m not sure the market’s there at 10M. I think 8 protects both sides and probably represents the ceiling should he decline, have a big season and go to RFA. I tend to doubt he has enough experience or a good enough roster to expect more.

    In either case I agree that a decision on who the future pg is doesn’t have to be made in 7 days and I think the offers should reflect that from the Suns pov. Basketball wise they definitely have time.

  • DBreezy

    Azbballfan,

    I actually think the Thunder and Indiana are the teams to watch for small and mid market teams rebuilding. The Spurs really have excelled at working in the old system with higher caps and benefited from having two stars who didn’t all demand max deals for what they did. Can Indiana and OKC sustain championship caliber success for as long?

  • Foreveris2long

    I get why a lot of fans are viewing this subjectively instead of objectively which should include what the agent can reasonably expect to get for his client now or next summer. No one wants to overpay for talent especially a team trying to turn the ship around. I think his market value will exceed $10m/yr by next summer.

    At 23 or 24 by the end of the season, a 2014 draft that is not projected to be loaded with excellent point guards, his agent knows his client has been praised for good defense, explosion to the basket and an evolving passing game. While his shooting needs improvement, his mechanics are not fatal.

    I suspect by season end he will have averages of about 15 ppg, 6 or 7 assists per game, 2 to 2.5 steals and 1 block per game. If McD can reasonably foresee those numbers he should not let Bledsoe walk if $10m/yr would close the deal.

    Let’s compare him to Jrue Holiday who signed a $41m contract for 4 years in November 2012. The season preceding the extension signing he averaged 13.5 pts per game and 4.5 assists per game. Bledsoe should exceed those numbers and will have more rebounds and blocked shots than Holiday. Regarding shooting % in 2010, Holiday’s 1st year as a starter he shot 36% from the 3 point line.

    With all due respect to those who think otherwise, absolutely Bledsoe is worth up to $10m/yr extension and maybe more with incentives. Holiday’s contract could allegedly be worth up to $46m with incentives. Bledsoe’s agent knows this and he will likely do his job in convincing McD and Babby accordingly. Great debate.

  • DBreezy

    If you go by the generally more reliable Draftexpress, 2 of the top 5 prospects in 2014 and 3 of the top 8 are point guards. Depending on how the cookie crumbles the Suns could be looking at one of them next June.

    Holiday is an interesting case. It’s easy to look at Curry, Lawson, and Rondo’s resumes and knock the idea of Bledsoe making 10M per. Holiday is a closer match if you assume that Bledsoe’s per-36 mins pan out, although it’s hard to discount that he played a starting role on playoff teams. GM’s notice that and Bledsoe is the exception there when it comes to his comps which should also include the oft overlooked but successful Mike Conley.

    What’s interesting about Holiday and Jennings for that matter is that despite playoff and all-star appearances their teams didn’t deem them worthy enough to keep at those salaries. Will Ty Lawson join them on that list after a season under Phil Jackson disciple Shaw?

    It is a great debate, however since you brought up the draft wouldn’t it be something if we’re sitting here next year and none of the current pg’s on the roster are still here as we welcome in Smart, Exum or Harrison? Not an entirely out of the question scenario.

  • Foreveris2long

    Now that would have me laughing DBreezy but as strange as it may be it would not be out of the realm of possibility should a deal not be reached with Bledsoe and Dragic is traded. However while I am in the minority, I am not a big Smart fan.