The Phoenix Suns announced on Friday that they have extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents Eric Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker, giving the team the right of first refusal when the starters become free agents in July. General manager Ryan McDonough and president of basketball operations Lon Babby have maintained they would do everything in their power to retain Bledsoe and Tucker, so the move does not come as a surprise.
“Restricted free agency is a beautiful thing for teams,” Babby said after the season while addressing Tucker’s free agency. “We place a value on him. The market will place a value on him. If there’s a disconnect, it’s something we have to address at the time. But we have those rights and we’d be foolhardy not to utilize them.”
If either player signs an offer sheet with another team, the Suns will have the ability to match the contract.
NBA teams have until June 30 to extend qualifying offers but can also rescind them to make players free agents. That’s not expected to be the case with either of Bledsoe or Tucker, who were crucial members to the 48 wins in 2013-14 .
Bledsoe, who is coming off his rookie contract, has been extended a qualifying offer of $3,726,966 that comes with a cap hold of $6,566,183, according to ShamSports. Tucker’s $1,148,163 qualifying offer is also the amount of his cap hold. Both players are expected to turn down the qualifying offers for long-term deals, and both will receive substantial raises.
Bledsoe is looking at a max contract projected to be around $15 million per season, while Tucker could make anywhere from $3-5 million annually.