The Phoenix Suns have no interest in sign-and-trade discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves involving restricted free-agent guard Eric Bledsoe, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Suns would want an All-Star – or potential All-Star – in return for Bledsoe and had only considered Kevin Love in a possible sign-and-trade scenario with the Timberwolves, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Minnesota eventually traded Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Timberwolves are showing a willingness to offer Bledsoe a four-year, $63 million maximum contract in a sign-and-trade, but only if they could dump undesirable contracts onto the Suns, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Minnesota is $6 million-plus over the salary cap, and has only minimum contracts and a $1.5 million trade exception slot left to acquire players.
Phoenix is willing to let Bledsoe sign a $3.7 million qualifying offer before training camp and become a free agent in July 2015. Phoenix could still offer Bledsoe the most lucrative contract on the market next year.
The Suns offered Bledsoe a four-year, $48 million contract in July, but Bledsoe's representatives insist that the guard's value is a full maximum contract. There's been minimal communication between Bledsoe's representatives and Suns officials since the franchise's offer in July.
Bledsoe's representatives with Klutch Sports, Rich Paul and Mark Termini, were unable to find a consequential offer sheet to force the Suns into matching a deal. Timberwolves president and coach Flip Saunders has been represented by Termini for much of his coaching career.
Bledsoe, 24, averaged 17.7 points and 5.5 assists for the Suns last season. He missed half the season because of knee surgery to repair a meniscus injury, the second such surgery of his career. Phoenix acquired Bledsoe from the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade in the summer of 2013. To fortify for his possible departure, the Suns signed free agent Isaiah Thomas and drafted Syracuse's Tyler Ennis.
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