Teams wanting to sign Eric Bledsoe this summer better be prepared to open their wallet.
Bledsoe is expected to command a max contract on the free-agent market, according to Yahoo! Sports, and could be included in a package assembled by the Phoenix Suns if they try to acquire Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Suns interested in Love deal w/best assets Dragic, Bledsoe & picks.NBA sources say it will take full max deal to control free agent Bledsoe.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 7, 2014
Bledsoe is a restricted free agent this summer, meaning the Suns can match any offer he receives from another club. He’s coming off of a career year, averaging 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 43 games played.
However, the 24-year-old guard has torn his meniscus twice already in his career, so a team that’s forced to hand over a monster contract might be weary of his injury history.
Bledsoe is one of the better players mentioned in a potential package to acquire Love from Minnesota, and along with Goran Dragic the Timberwolves would receive two quality players. Gragic was a third-team All-NBA selection this season.
In addition, the Suns hold the 14th, 18th, 27th and 50th selections in the upcoming NBA draft, as well as future first-round picks from the Los Angeles Lakers and the aforementioned Wolves.
So two quality young players plus a wealth of draft picks for Love — count the Suns in the Love sweepstakes.
Last month, ESPN.com reported the Suns have a “strong interest in trading for Love,” but there was uncertainty as to whether Love would want to play in Phoenix.
Sources say that the Phoenix Suns, armed with several draft assets to offer Minnesota, also have strong interest in trading for Love, but the 25-year-old’s interest in joining the Suns is unclear.
Any team that trades for Love before he hits the open market in 2015 would naturally need assurances that it can keep him before surrendering quality assets.
This past week, Wolves president Flip Saunders named himself the team’s new head coach. It’s expected that he could be even more careful about dealing Love.