Suns Rumors: Eric Bledsoe’s Name Pops Up Again

Mar 19, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) reacts against the New Orleans Pelicans at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 19, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) reacts against the New Orleans Pelicans at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

At this point, most Phoenix Suns fans are probably wishing ESPN’s Chad Ford had never mentioned Eric Bledsoe in an online chat answering questions about the draft. They’re probably regretting that Sean Deveney of Sporting News brought Bledsoe’s name up again in a report that mentioned the Suns might explore trades for him involving the No. 4 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

After last night’s NBA Insiders podcast on ESPN Radio, they’re probably not any happier that one of the final topics of discussion was the probability of Phoenix dealing Bledsoe this summer.

In the show’s final minutes, ESPN’s Marc Stein, Brian Windhorst and Amin Elhassan were making some bold predictions about the upcoming weeks of NBA free agency when Windhorst turned his attention to Bledsoe in the Suns:

"“I think that Eric Bledsoe will be available. They just drafted Devin Booker, the shooter out of Kentucky, and I don’t think they can trade Bledsoe until they have a Brandon Knight deal locked in. They don’t wanna make a move and lose that leverage, but if they get Brandon Knight locked in and they find a market for Eric Bledsoe, that could be a major trade that happens that would be a significant move.”"

Stein responded, “That is a big mistake. A BIG mistake for my money,” to which Windhorst replied, “Well, that depends on who they get for him.”

Elhassan, who covers the Suns, chipped in: “I think Brandon Knight fits the mold out of what they want out of a lead guard more than Eric does. I really do.”

“Because Eric Bledsoe’s too athletic and plays too much D?” Stain quipped.

“No, I think from a personality standpoint,” Elhassan replied. “You know, ‘the guys in the locker room will gravitate towards,’ from that standpoint I think Brandon Knight fits what they’re looking for more than Eric Bledsoe. Of course, Goran Dragic fit better than either of them and we saw what happened to him, so you never know.”

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  • Once again, there’s not much to go off of here other than conjecture. But last night, a report emerged that the Suns would re-sign Knight to a five-year, $70 million extension, which would be the first step in this hypothetical placing of Bledsoe on the trade block.

    It’s also worth noting that both general manager Ryan McDonough and head coach Jeff Hornacek have said they see leadership qualities in Knight, a levelheaded and intelligent player on a team that badly needed some form of charisma in the locker room last year.

    There will always be conspiracy theories on this front. For example, one possible trade scenario that’s been brought up is landing Kevin Love from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a sign-and-trade centered around Bledsoe, given that he and LeBron James share the same agent, that the two are friends and that Tristan Thompson‘s strong playoff run makes Love a non-necessity.

    But these kinds of hypotheses amount to little more than conjecture revolving around making connections that aren’t based on actual reports.

    Re-signing Knight likely just means the Suns have officially locked in their backcourt for the future, not that Phoenix wants to dump Bledsoe. Knight (23) and Bledsoe (25) are still young, they haven’t reached their full potential and though their fit together last season was rough, it was an extremely small sample size.

    There’s been no indication the Suns are ready to give up on their dual point guard system that was so effective with Bledsoe and Dragic, even with the arrival of Devin Booker adding more depth to the backcourt.

    Even with Stein’s solid track record of reporting, this conversation was simply giving a look at what the feeling around the league is, not an actual report. Furthermore, the Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro has maintained that the front office hasn’t been “dangling” Bledsoe in trade talks.

    On the one hand, Bledsoe would be Phoenix’s most attractive trade asset. This team needs superstar, and no one on this roster should be off limits if the Suns can locate a trade that can land them a new face of the franchise. But at this point in time, these Eric Bledsoe “rumors” have no solid base and should be treated as such until there’s more concrete evidence to go off of.

    Next: Pressure's On For Archie Goodwin

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