Generally in the NBA, where there is smoke there is fire — maybe not the raging, four-alarm blaze being sold through rumors and sources, but something is burning.
Starting with the NBA Draft and through today, there has been a lot of smoke rising out of the desert surrounding Phoenix in regards to an Eric Bledsoe trade. There were rumors the Knicks were interested on Draft night, now there are reports Sacramento may be interested. The Suns plan to be patient and let the market play out a little.
Suns’ coach Jeff Hornacek went on SiriusXM NBA Radio radio recently and tried to put out the Bledsoe rumor fire. He was asked if they are seriously entertaining moving Bledsoe.
“No. (laughs) No. You know, it’s funny, trade deadline and around the draft I always tell our players, I say, ‘Look, if you hear your name out in the trade rumors a lot it’s probably there’s nothing going on. If you’re going to get traded usually you don’t hear your name.’ I think there were some calls from the Knicks about Eric. Of course they would want to have Eric on their team. For us, we are taking some strides, we had a little step back last year due to some trades and some injuries late but Eric is a big part of our future and there was no entertainment of that.”
The first rule of trading a player is to not look like you want to trade that player, it’s bad for leverage. Read into Hornacek’s comments whatever you wish, I lean toward the cynical.
How serious are the Suns about keeping Bledsoe? You can likely tell by how much the Suns offer to re-sign Brandon Knight this summer — if they offer him five-years, $70 million as reported, Bledsoe will be on the move at some point. You’re not going to pay two point guards that much.
But if they offer Knight less, maybe kind of offer that goes to a backup point guard, then we’ll know Hornacek wasn’t just trying to put out the fire, there wasn’t much of a flame to begin with.