With Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe likely on the outs with the franchise, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough expressed his belief Tuesday that Bledsoe has gotten some bad advice from his representation.
In an interview with Arizona Sports Radio 98.7 (h/t ESPN.com's Chris Haynes), McDonough suggested Bledsoe is being led in the wrong direction by his agent, Rich Paul, who also represents LeBron James.
"I think, just my opinion, the shift comes from contractual demands made by his representatives, and that's what I was referring to when I said I think he got bad advice. ... [Eric's] a talented player and a good player, but like I said, I think he's just being a little bit misguided at the moment with some of the advice he's getting."
Regardless of what may have influenced Bledsoe's decisions, McDonough said he felt as though they weren't becoming of a leader:
"I was certainly surprised by it and disappointed by it. I think Eric's a good person. I think he's unfortunately gotten some bad advice and is listening to the wrong people. I think generally, any time you sign a contract, it doesn't only work one way. It works both ways, and for a guy with years on his contract to say or intimate he didn't want to be here anymore, I didn't find that to be appropriate, and I think if he says he wants to be a leader, that's the opposite of what a leader does and the opposite of what leadership is. So I think that's all I'm going to say about that."
Bledsoe is in the midst of his fifth season with the Suns, and he has one year remaining on his contract beyond this season, according to Spotrac.
Prior to getting sent home, Bledsoe averaged 15.7 points, 3.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game for the Suns this season in three contests.
He averaged over 20 points per game in each of the previous two seasons, including career bests of 21.1 points and 6.3 assists in 2016-17.
Phoenix fired head coach Earl Watson after an 0-3 start, and the franchise is clearly in rebuilding mode.
Since the Suns are likely to focus on developing young players such as Josh Jackson, Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender moving forward, the 27-year-old Bledsoe's role with the team may have been in line to diminish regardless of his feelings about playing in Phoenix.