NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Suns Open to Trading Eric Bledsoe?

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Suns Ready to Trade Eric Bledsoe?

Yesterday, local sportscaster Jude LaCava went on FoxSports 910 radio, “The Drive”, and told the world that the Phoenix Suns have now hung out the “Open for Business” sign on Eric Bledsoe’s locker.

“I’ll tell you this, and I think this is the first time it’s reported,” Jude LaCava said on Tuesday, “I do believe in my NBA sources. You can take this to the bank, so to speak, the Suns are now discussing trade possibilities for Eric Bledsoe.”

“That’s the new chapter to this and I wouldn’t back off of that information. I think it’s 100% correct.”

“I think it’s safe to say ‘open for business’,” LaCava said. “The decision makers, [managing partner Robert] Sarver and [PBO Lon] Babby and hopefully Ryan McDonough, they are open to that possibility. It’s got to be right. It’s got to be the right return in what they are looking for. It’s to the point that if they can accommodate Bledsoe and get something they want in return, trade possibilities are very, very real and they have been discussed.”

via Jude LaCava of FoxSports910 (transcribed by Bright Side of the Sun)

Up until now, reports have indicated that the Suns weren’t open to completing a sign-and-trade involving Eric Bledsoe. Now, if this is accurate, Phoenix may be changing their tune.

Bledsoe is arguably the best free agent left on the market. He is restricted, so the Suns can match any offer sheet he receives.

Phoenix reportedly offered Bledsoe a four-year deal worth $48 million, but the point guard is looking for a near-max deal. However, he doesn’t have much leverage in the negotiations, since there aren’t many teams with significant cap space remaining.

One reason why the Suns may have changed their stance on a Bledsoe sign-and-trade is if they realized that he’s going to take the one-year qualifying offer and potentially walk as an unrestricted free agent next summer. Once a player signs for the qualifying offer, they have a no-trade clause, so Phoenix might lose Bledsoe for nothing when he hits free agency next offseason.

If the relationship between the player and team has soured, it’s possible that Phoenix realized that Bledsoe’s days with the Suns are numbered and wants to get something in return for him while they still can.

HEAT Weighing Free Agent Options

The HEAT is serious about adding another shooting guard and a big man if it can find two good ones willing to take the veteran’s minimum. After recently working out Jordan Hamilton (who signed with Toronto) and Chris Douglas-Roberts, the HEAT also has inquired about Leandro Barbosa and Jordan Crawford, who both hold appeal to Miami.

Among power rotation players, the HEAT has shown interest in Emeka Okafor and has considered Ekpe Udoh. Preliminary inquiries were made on Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell. Agent David Falk said he talked to the HEAT about Elton Brand but that Brand is unlikely to end up here.

via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald

Even though the HEAT lost LeBron James this summer, Miami is determined to remain a contender in the Eastern Conference.

They had a busy offseason, re-signing Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem, and adding veterans such as Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, Danny Granger and Shawne Williams.

Now, they have expressed interest in a number of other veteran free agents including Leandro Barbosa, Jordan Crawford, Emeka Okafor, Ekpe Udoh, Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell.

Basketball Insiders was the first to report Miami’s interest in Barbosa. The HEAT will continue to weigh their options. It’s possible that Miami will just invite some of these players to training camp or offer a partially-guaranteed deal.

For a complete list of the remaining free agents, click here.

Budenholzer Adds Two Coaches to Staff

The Atlanta Hawks have added Charles Lee and Ben Sullivan to the coaching staff, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

via Hawks press release

Budenholzer announced the additions to his coaching staff on Wednesday afternoon, adding: “Charles and Ben bring unique skills and abilities to our staff.  Both have strong backgrounds in player development that will complement our emphasis on internal team improvement. We feel very fortunate to add them and are excited to see how they positively impact our group.”

Lee spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Bucknell. He was the 2006 Patriot League Player of the Year for the Bisons and ranks 22nd on the school’s all-time scoring list. After graduating with a degree in business management, he played professionally in Israel, Belgium and Germany.

Sullivan most recently worked in basketball development and as an assistant video coordinator with the San Antonio Spurs (where Budenholzer worked for 18 seasons). He played collegiately at Cal-State Northridge and University of Portland, and competing professionally in China, Germany and Chile following graduation. Sullivan joined University of Portland’s coaching staff in 2009, then was an assistant coach at Lewis & Clark College in Portland before joining the Spurs.

Lee and Sullivan join Kenny Atkinson, Darvin Ham, Taylor Jenkins and Neven Spahija on Budenholzer’s staff. Additionally, Jim Thomas, a member of the coaching staff in 2013-14, has been moved into a front office role as a scout, a position he previously served in with Oklahoma City, New York and Toronto.

 

About Alex Kennedy

Alex Kennedy

Alex Kennedy is a Senior NBA Editor of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last seven seasons.