Rich Paul is known as an aggressive agent, a guy willing to take risks and drive hard bargains. That style has landed Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith big deals, but it doesn’t always (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope), and GMs are not fans.
Eric Bledsoe is a Paul client, and the point guard is forcing his way out of Phoenix. After Tweeting he didn’t want to “be there” — then coming up with a lame excuse of being at a hair salon for that Tweet — the Suns sent him home and are looking for a trade partner.
“I was certainly surprised by it and disappointed by it,” McDonough said. “I think Eric’s a good person. I think he’s unfortunately gotten some bad advice and is listening to the wrong people. I think generally, any time you sign a contract, it doesn’t only work one way. It works both ways, and for a guy with years on his contract to say or intimate he didn’t want to be here anymore, I didn’t find that to be appropriate, and I think if he says he wants to be a leader, that’s the opposite of what a leader does and the opposite of what leadership is. So I think that’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Bledsoe and his representatives reportedly told the Suns before the season he wanted to be traded, the Suns are clearly rebuilding and he didn’t want to be part of that process. The Suns then started the season 0-3, getting outscored by 92 points in those games (they won the one game without Bledsoe).
What you think of Paul’s advice speaks to how you feel about whether a player should be able to force his way out of a bad situation. It’s obvious why McDonough hates it.
The second Bledsoe went public with his request, it put more pressure to get the deal done, but it also killed his trade value. Every team is going to lowball the Suns (not that Bledsoe cares, he is getting his wish to be moved). Phoenix is asking for a quality young player in the deal — for example, they asked the Knicks for Frank Ntilikina or Willy Hernangomez — and no team has been willing to go there, yet. Most likely, this deal gets done with a team that also wants to unload a big contract (Denver with Kenneth Faried, New Orleans with Omar Asik) and the Suns get either picks or a player to help their rebuild back. The Suns want to get this deal done, Bledsoe’s value only goes down as time goes on, but they have yet to find a trade they can stomach.