What's The Mavs' Position On A Bledsoe Trade?
Reports out of Phoenix insist that Eric Bledsoe -- the oft-injured but young and gifted point guard -- is now being shopped, the result of a contract stalemate between him and the Suns, who own his right by virtue of his restricted free agency.
The Dallas Mavericks long ago told us that they viewed a pursuit of the disgruntled Sun a non-starter, primarily because it was believed Phoenix intended to retain him.
Has that really changed?
We'll take the Phoenix media's word for it that the Suns are ready to move from Bledsoe, but ...
He's a valuable talent and a terrific bargain, especially if he accepts the one-year, $3,726,966 qualifying offer. At the same time, he wants a huge deal ... and a huge deal is actually on the table, last time we checked, four years and $48 mil.
That's not the max deal he apparently thinks he's worth. But the Suns view it as fair.
And, more important to this exercise, the Mavs view it as excessive.
To put it as crisply as possible: Dallas has no desire to be part of giving Eric Bledsoe a $48-million deal.
The "cost'' of making such a deal happen? That's not a problem for Dallas, which could create a package of Felton, Wright, and a first that would allows a trade match for Bledsoe that, in this example, could actually give him more than is presently being offered to him.
In this scenario, Bledsoe would be making a starting salary of up to $13,290,539 and a total salary over four years of up to $56.75 mil. In theory, Bledsoe says yes to this proposal.
Or, let's say the Mavs simply wanted to offer him an exit from Phoenix that matches the Suns offer of $48 mil. That only requires a starting salary of about $11.25 mil, but the smallest deal they could offer and still trade-match Felton-Wright would have to start at $11.562 mil.
That's still clearly plenty of latitude. This part of a proposed deal is relatively easy.
But there has been no such offer made to the Suns by the Mavs, according to DB.com sources, and here's why: Dallas wishes to continue being careful when it comes to giving "bad contracts.'' And Bledsoe's injury history, in their eyes, makes $56 mil and $48 mil a pair of "bad ideas.''
There is no denying that in a vacuum, a starting lineup of Chandler, Parsons, Dirk, Monta and Bledsoe is dreamy. But would Phoenix accept that aforementioned offer? No. Contrary to the thoughts of many, the Suns are in an imperfect but acceptable position here; Bledsoe may come to realize that $12 mil a year is fair, and if the parties get to February and remain unhappy? They can part ways then?
Would Dallas wish to break the bank for Bledsoe? Absolutely not.
So where once upon a time (the beginning of this summer) Bledsoe-to-Dallas wasn't happening because the Mavs were certain Phoenix was keeping him, now Bledsoe-to-Dallas isn't happening because Phoenix has fortified the Mavs' position by offering him more money than they ever would have.
But wait. Don't we know for a fact that in the summer of 2013 the Mavs did indeed try to get their hands on Eric Bledsoe? Yes, as we broke down to the penny at the time when Mayo-for-Bledsoe was being discussed when Bledsoe was with the Clippers.
So one more time: Has that really changed?
At that time, Bledsoe was entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, worth $2,626,474 for the 2013-14 season, and hadn't yet broken out into the 18-ppg guy he is now. He was a promising bargain. But the track record now? Following his rookie year, he's played in 40 games, then 76 games, and last year in 43 games. ... and he has had two surgeries on the same knee and he is only 24 years old, a red flag for any team.
The promise is still there. But the Mavs' interest in Eric Bledsoe never did, and presently does not, approach the $48-million level. So for a different reason than before, Bledsoe-to-Dallas is, once again, a non-starter.