Report: Eric Bledsoe, Suns reach five-year, $70 million deal


In the end, it always made the most sense for Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns each to give a little and find some middle ground. Compromise should not be a dirty word. However, throughout the summer neither side would bend, at least publicly. The Suns stuck to their four-year $48 million offer and Bledsoe wanted five years at the max ($84 million).

But with pressure training camps about to open both sides got together and found the middle ground.

Phoenix threw in the fifth season and over the course of the deal bumped up the salary a couple million, Bledsoe came down on his max offer, And the two sides struck a deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

This seems a good deal for both sides — Bledsoe will get paid and the Suns lock up one of the best young guards in the NBA at a price (if he stays healthy) that will be fair. If you think that a $14 million a year average is too high remember the salary cap will make big jumps over the next several years with new television deal money coming in. This deal will look good in three years. Plus, Goran Dragic is a free agent for the Suns next season and while it’s not likely he bolts it is possible, now they still have an elite guard locked down.

This is also a big win for Bledsoe’s agent Rich Paul, who a number of fans (and some media) accused of making mistakes and being in over his head here. If you think he’s an amateur, you don’t know his whole story.

Bledsoe is an All-Star caliber guard — when healthy. Last season he averaged 17.7 points a game for the Suns with an impressive .578 true shooting percentage, plus he is a strong defender. The risk for the Suns is he hasn’t been healthy for a couple of seasons (he played 43 games again last season coming off knee surgery).

The Suns have Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and now Isaiah Thomas to play the point. Bledsoe can play some two, but that is a crowded and potentially very entertaining backcourt for Jeff Hornacek to figure out. Phoenix is one of the best training camp stories to watch this fall.

And now everyone in Phoenix should be happy.

WNBA suspends Riquna Williams 10 games for domestic violence

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NEW YORK (AP) The WNBA has suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams 10 games for a domestic violence incident.

The WNBA handed down the suspension Tuesday. Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The league conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the WNBA said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun.

The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

Williams’ suspension will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings.

Report: Bulls signing Luke Kornet for guaranteed $4.5M over two years

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Just three 7-footers have averaged 3.5 3-pointers per game and made 35% of them each of the last two seasons:

The Bulls will now have most of them.

Markkanen is Chicago’s top young player. Kornet will join him with the Bulls next season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’m a little surprised Kornet got more than his minimum ($3,383,360 over two years). But it’s worth taking a flier on him.

In addition to his outside shooting, Kornet has shown good timing as a shot-blocker in two seasons with the Knicks. The 24-year-old must get stronger and improve as a rebounder to play major minutes.

But the Bulls won’t have to press him into action. They also have Thaddeus Young, Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio as bigs.

Pistons claim Christian Wood off waivers

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The Bucks waived Christian Wood late last season to ensure avoiding the luxury tax. The Pelicans claimed him. Wood had played well in limited minutes with the 76ers, Hornets and Bucks and in the NBA’s minor league since going undrafted in 2015.

New Orleans gave him his biggest opportunity yet. In 24 minutes per game over eight games, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds.

But the Pelicans filled their roster for next season and waived Wood.

Detroit will take advantage.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has claimed forward/center Christian Wood off waivers.

Wood’s $1,645,357 minimum salary is unguaranteed until the regular season. So, Detroit could still waive him before the season. But it seems he’ll at least go to training camp and get a shot at a regular-season roster spot.

The Pelicans also could’ve kept him through the preseason then waived him before the regular season. They seemingly did him a favor of allowing him to get somewhere he has a realistic chance of sticking.

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will start in the frontcourt for the Pistons. Markieff Morris and Thon Maker appear to be first in line is backups.

But don’t be surprised if Wood earns playing time. At minimum, the 23-year-old should provide nice depth at both power forward and center.

The Pistons have also now acquired four members of last year’s Bucks – Tony Snell, Thon Maker, Tim Frazier and now Wood.

Knicks: Reggie Bullock has spine injury

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Reggie Bullock had his agreed-upon salary cut by more than half with the Knicks. He’ll reportedly miss at least a month of the regular season.

All because of a mysterious health issue.

The Knicks have finally disclosed what’s happening.

Knicks release:

Reggie Bullock underwent successful surgery today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for a cervical disc herniation. The team will plan to provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp.

Bullock is a good shooter from the wing. New York could use him. Many teams could use him.

But Bullock must get healthy first.

At this point, we probably shouldn’t expect much from him any time soon. The best indication: how eagerly his agent praised the Knicks for their handling of this situation. Again, Bullock settled for less than half his initially agreed-upon salary.