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.
The first rule of NBA ownership: Don’t talk about NBA ownership.
Or the business you do as an owner until it becomes official, even if by then everyone else has known for days and already moved on from the topic.
Monday was an expensive day for two of the NBA’s owners of teams in Texas. Mark Cuban was fined $50,000 for leaking information from the league’s Board of Governor’s meeting about the new coach’s challenge — even though everybody knew what was going to happen — before the meeting officially ended. Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported this story and had maybe the best quote of the summer to go with it.
The NBA office fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $50,000 after he admitted to leaking information from last week’s Board of Governors meeting to a reporter, sources told ESPN…
“I appreciate the irony of your reporting on a fine that someone should, but won’t, get fined for leaking to you,” Cuban told ESPN.
Sources said Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive expressed concern that information about the vote to allow coaches’ challenges was being reported while the meeting was still in session. Cuban immediately admitted that he had leaked the information, sources said.
Well played, Cuban.
This is a letter of the law fine, but was it a big deal that this got out? The vote was all but assured, a formality, but Cuban gets fined for telling people? Thanks, Vivek.
From the same “is this really a big deal” file we have the fine Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta got on Monday, $25,000 for talking about the Russell Westbrook trade before it was official. Even though everybody was talking about it. From Mark Stein of the New York Times.
Here is the oh-so-damaging quote:
Again, I get Fertitta crossed the official line because the trade had not gone through yet, but does that line really need to exist in these cases? It feels like the silly hat thing at the NBA Draft.
Damaging or even interesting information was not divulged in either case. The fines were not steep because of it, but the NBA’s process of what is and is not allowed around trades and free agency — and the odd Board of Governors meeting — seems behind the times.
The Memphis Grizzlies don’t want to just waive veteran Andre Iguodala, they want to get something back in return. That is just turning out to be challenging.
The Clippers and Rockets are still interested, but both teams are at a stalemate, something Shams Charania of The Athletic broke down in a new video.
The story in a nutshell:
• The Rockets are interested, but Iguodala’s $17.2 million would take the team deep into the luxury tax (Houston is currently just shy of the tax line). Charania says any deal likely would involve a sign-and-trade, which implies Iman Shumpert, probably with a draft pick attached.
• The only Clippers’ salary that lines up cleanly is Mo Harkless (with some other players), but Los Angeles doesn’t want to give him up.
Memphis can afford to be patient and say they will just bring Iguodala into training camp, that they are willing to start the season with him.
This may take some time to get done and could ultimately involve a third team. Maybe Dallas gets back in the conversation, or other teams look at their roster and decide they want the veteran wing. This also could be something that drags into training camp, there are no easy answers lined up or the deal would be done already.
From the moment the Warriors acquired D'Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade deal that cleared the path for Kevin Durant to go to Brooklyn, speculation about fit and an eventual trade cropped up. Does Russell’s game really fit with Stephen Curry and, eventually, Klay Thompson‘s, in a three-guard lineup? If not, how fast will they trade him? February at the trade deadline? Next summer?
From the start the Warriors have shot down the idea that they just planned to trade Russell, and on Monday Warriors GM Bob Myers repeated the same thing.
The Warriors plan has been to play Russell and Curry next to each other — they got an All-Star guard to soak up the minutes until Thompson can return (likely sometime after the All-Star break, if at all next season). Maybe the fit works, maybe it doesn’t, but the Warriors aren’t putting limitations or preconceived notions on the possibilities.
If it doesn’t work out, the trade option will still be there.
The Warriors do not head into this season the same juggernaut to be feared, but sleep on them at your own risk. As Meyers said, they believe they have a team that can compete with anyone.
Just a few weeks after winning a championship, the Raptors look finished as championship contenders.
In an unprecedented exit, superstar Kawhi Leonard left. Danny Green – an underrated contributor – followed him from Toronto.
The Raptors can remain good with Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. But with Lowry ($34,996,296), Gasol ($25,595,700) and Ibaka ($23,271,604) older players on expiring contracts, this iteration of the team will likely be short-lived. Toronto’s obvious path is rebuilding around Siakam.
Will the Raptors get a head start on that by dealing those veterans for assets that can help more down the road?
Josh Lewenberg of TSN:
As for veterans Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka – who are all on expiring deals – the Raptors have no intention of moving them, at least not before the season, according to sources.
This is perfectly fine.
The Raptors might be less-equipped in a few years by not getting value for those veterans now.
But Toronto deserves a victory lap. There’s value in Raptors fans enjoying these championship players – especially Lowry. This team should still make the playoffs, and even moderate winning will make this prolonged title celebration more satisfying.