Eric Bledsoe remains unsigned, and the situation isn’t getting prettier.
The Suns and the restricted free agent have sparred through the media, leaving Bledsoe’s teammates caught in the middle. I bet they realize how valuable Bledsoe is to the team, but they’re also loyal to an organization that has already signed them.
So, how does Goran Dragic – Phoenix’s top player – stay informed? He gets some news from Suns coach Jeff Hornacek. As for the other side…
RealGM: Do you stay in touch with Eric Bledsoe? Do you receive information about his situation and do you pay attention to it?
Dragic: I follow him on Twitter. I talked with Jeff couple of weeks ago and they still didn’t know if they are going to offer him a contract. We are waiting for his decision. But I think he is a big part of this team. He was great last year and we played together well. I hope he will sign for the next year.
First of all, Dragic saying he follows Bledsoe on Twitter doesn’t mean that’s his only way of communicating with Bledsoe. Dragic easily could have additional ways of staying in touch with Bledsoe.
But let’s say this is Dragic’s only pipeline to Bledsoe (and it’s not a good one considering the lack of free agency news Bledsoe tweets). That’s probably for the best.
It’s in Bledsoe’s best interest to convince the Suns he’d leave after next season if he signs the qualifying offer. Their only reason to offer him a larger contract is believing he’d walk, and to convince them of that, he might have to criticize the situation in Phoenix.
Would Bledsoe really mean it? Maybe, maybe not. It’s a negotiating tactic, but one that could mean hurting teammates’ feelings.
Though a sign-and-trade or unmatched offer sheet from Philadelphia is possible, Bledsoe will most likely – either on the qualifying offer or larger contract – play for the Suns next season. At that point, he and Dragic will need to work together.
This way, they give themselves the best chance of meshing – and that’s great for fans who really enjoyed the dynamic backcourt last season.