Despite holding all the cards in the ongoing Eric Bledsoe free agency saga, the Phoenix Suns are in a bit of a pickle. After offering Bledsoe a fair four-year $48 million contract – which Bledsoe rejected, desiring a five-year, $80 million max deal instead – the Suns haven’t been able to work out an agreement with their restricted free agent and the relationship between Bledsoe and the organization has reportedly soured.
With each passing day, it seems more and more possible that Bledsoe could simply opt for the Suns’ qualifying offer worth $3.7 million. The move would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2014-15 season and Phoenix could only trade him if he agreed to a deal, which would severely limit the Suns’ capability of doing anything to prevent their budding star from leaving for nothing next summer.
The Suns have all the control right now, but the contract negotiations (or lack thereof) will be a problem down the road for a team looking to finally rebuild itself back into a Western Conference contender. After watching Goran Dragic and Bledsoe mesh together so seamlessly in the backcourt last season, it’d be a pity for Bledsoe to leave all that potential behind. In that spirit, here are five reasons why Eric Bledsoe would be making a big mistake taking Phoenix’s qualifying offer.