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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.
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 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.