Timberwolves had been linked with a move for Bledsoe, but their search will move elsewhere…
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Phoenix Suns restricted free-agent guard Eric Bledsoe has agreed terms on a new five-year contract which is reportedly worth $70m.
It will come as a relief for both parties but the Suns in particular as they have finally been able to secure the long-term future of one of their most valuable stars.
Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points and 5.5 assists per game last season, his first in Phoenix, and he is widely regarded as a cornerstone of the franchise moving forward as they look to build on their effort last year and seal a place in the playoffs this time round.
“All summer, I knew that I really would be most comfortable coming back to Phoenix because of the great fans, my Suns teammates and our coaches,” Bledsoe said in a statement released by the team.
“I am very happy it was able to work out this way.”
With no deal being reached prior to this week, Bledsoe had planned to sign a one-year qualifying deal worth $3.7m so he could become an unrestricted free agent next year. However, that will no longer be the case after the deal was signed, and it will come as disappointing news for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Wolves had reportedly been prepared to offer Bledsoe a four-year deal worth more than $60m, but they will now have to switch their attention elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the Suns will have a task on their hands in rotating the roster and giving a deep backcourt significant minutes over the course of the season, with Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and Tyler Ennis all expected to play integral roles this season.
Coach Jeff Hornacek is expected to favour the Dragic-Bledsoe partnership which helped the Suns to a 48-win season last year, with Thomas and Ennis likely to come off the bench as impact players.