Friday September 5th, 2014

The Phoenix Suns and Eric Bledsoe have gone nearly six months without speaking to each other, according to Chris Haynes of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.

The Suns have reportedly expressed interest in negotiating a long-term contract with Bledsoe. But the team and Bledsoe's camp have not found common ground, according to reports, with Phoenix presenting a four-year, $48 million offer and Bledsoe and agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini seeking a maximum contract.

Phoenix Suns' Markieff Morris has a huge opportunity

Suns owner Robert Sarver has described the Suns' reported offer as "fair." As a restricted free agent, Bledsoe can sign offer sheets with other teams. However, if he does sign with another team, Phoenix would have the option to match.

Bledsoe, who has said he believes the Suns are using restricted free agency "against" him, has until Oct. 1 to either agree to a new deal with Phoenix or sign a one-year, $3.7 million qualifying offer to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Both parties have reportedly explored sign-and-trade scenarios. 

Haynes reports that Bledsoe could be close to signing the qualifying offer.

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Bledsoe, 24, averaged 17.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists last season, the final year of a four-year, rookie-scale contract worth $7.4 million. The 2010 first-round pick missed 33 games after undergoing knee surgery in January to repair torn cartilage in his right knee.

The Suns were 19-11 at the time of Bledsoe's injury but finished the season with a 48-34 record, missing the playoffs.

- Chris Johnson

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