A big ego and greedy agents have brought the situation between Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns to an uncomfortable position, which looks like will end in him taking the qualifying offer. It hurts the relationship between the team and the player, but also makes him lose money which he’ll find very difficult to make up for when he signs his next contract, even as an unrestricted free agent.
The situation right now? The Suns aren’t budging from the $48 million over four years offer. They know no team in the NBA is going to give him a better offer sheet (Restricted free agent), and a sign-and-trade is out of the picture as well. Obviously, they believe Bledsoe can become a big part of their future. He averaged 17.7 points per game next to Goran Dragic last season, but he also missed half of it with an injury.
Rich Paul is one half of the duo representing Bledsoe. He is also LeBron James’ agent, and he is eager to show his clients and the world what a powerful agent he is. Instead of doing what’s best for the player’s career, he is only thinking about what enters the bank account, and has put Bledsoe into a corner which no matter what he decides, he loses. He’ll be playing for the Suns next season, probably for a lot less money and with a lot less love between the sides.
The qualifying offer for Bledsoe is $3.7 million, which means losing $8.3 million compared to the $12 million he would make if he signs the four-year deal. Becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2015, this means he’ll have to make up for that “loss” by signing a deal that’s worth at least $56 million over the next four years. Maybe someone will give that to him, but it’s hard to think of a team willing to give him almost $15 million a season, unless he has a huge 2014-2015 NBA season.
Signing a qualifying offer also means Bledsoe cannot be traded from December 15 onward without his consent because via the trade he will lose his full free agent “Bird rights“.
Eric Bledsoe is a good player, and maybe has to potential to be a great one very soon, barring any injuries get in the way. But sometimes listening too much to agents and this hunger/greed to get overpaid just because there’s an opportunity to do so puts players in the wrong position, hurting not just their situation with certain teams but can also backfire and make them earn less than they could have had they just used their head instead of their agent’s.