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SECOND OVERTIME

By Homer D. Sayson


Bledsoe's $70 million deal is a risk worth taking

PhilBoxing.com
Fri, 26 Sep 2014


Bledsoe.

CHICAGO -- After a contractual stand-off that lasted for months, the Phoenix Suns and restricted free agent point guard Eric Bledsoe have finally come to terms Wednesday afternoon.

According to multiple reports, including NBA.com, the newly-minted deal is worth $70 million for five years. At $14 million a year, the 6-foot-1 Bledsoe will make an obscenely rich $170, 731 for every regular season game.

The Suns had initially made a 4-year, $48 million tender, an offer that Bledsoe declined because he wanted maximum dollars, five years and $80 million.

Had both sides been unable to reach an agreement, Bledsoe would have signed only a one-year qualifying offer for $3.7 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent in July of 2015.

Obviously, the Suns chose to keep Bledsoe at a higher price than watch him walk away following what would have been a lame duck 2014-15 season.

In his four years in the league, Bledsoe has never been an All-Star and he wasn't a lottery pick, either, having been drafted at No.18 in 2010. With a history of two arthroscopic surgeries on his right knee, it can be argued that Bledsoe's deal is risky and, perhaps, slightly overpaid.

But the Suns are more than happy to take the plunge with the talented, defensively gifted Bledsoe.

"I learned long ago that it doesn't matter how stormy the sea is as long as the ship comes in, and today we are thrilled that the ship has come and Eric will remain a Sun for a long time," Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby told ESPN.com.

Despite the space he eats up in the team's salary cap, Bledsoe brings a lot to table in return.

He averaged 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game last season. When he missed 39 games to injuries, Phoenix went just 20-19. But when he was healthy and playing, the Suns were an impressive 28-15.

A prolific scorer with 3-point range, Bledsoe is also a terrific playmaker who can create his own shot and has consistently shown the eagerness to share the ball. He is only 24 years young, and alongside Goran Dragic and the newly-acquired Isaiah Thomas, Bledsoe gives the Suns a dangerously explosive guard rotation.

Good things in life don't come cheap. So are the services of Eric Bledsoe.

Hopefully, after five more years in Phoenix, Bledsoe will prove his weight in gold.



Click here for a complete listing of columns by this author.

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