The numbers point to Eric Bledsoe being one of basketball’s best playmakers

Eric Bledsoe - photo by Barry Gossage | NBAE via Getty Images
Eric Bledsoe – photo by Barry Gossage | NBAE via Getty Images

This was no doubt the thinking in allowing the Halloween deadline to come and go without extending Eric Bledsoe. The 23 year-old is one of basketball’s brightest point guard prospects, but that’s just the issue – before this season began, Bledsoe was far more potential than player. He flashed near-brilliance as Chris Paul’s understudy for the Clippers his first three years in the league, but the sample size was small enough – Bledsoe’s career-high 22.7 minutes per game came in 2010-2011, his rookie year – for Phoenix to be leery of a rich longterm commitment without better understanding his impact first-hand.

And despite the Suns’ full-blown rebuilding effort marked by hordes of future cap space, that conservatism made sense. A financial albatross is debilitating under any circumstances, and though Bledsoe’s reported desired salary of at least $10 million per year wasn’t crazy-expensive should he reach even modest expectations, patience is still prudent. Starting from the ground up is a task best undertaken without restrictions; by slow-playing Bledsoe’s new contract, Phoenix ensured it would move forward without any whatsoever.

“Any extensions less than the max can be a little bit tricky, but we knew that going into it,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough told Burns and Gambo of  Sports 620 on November 6th. “We’re very confident that Eric’s going to be a Sun for a long time.”

 

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