Eric Bledsoe Waived by Trail Blazers; 'Several' Teams Reportedly Have Interest in FA

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 6, 2022

PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 27: Eric Bledsoe #5 of the Portland Trail Blazers warms up before the game against the Denver Nuggets on February 27, 2022 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

After trying and failing to land a trade partner, the Portland Trail Blazers waived guard Eric Bledsoe.

Only $3.9 million of his $19.4 million salary was fully guaranteed for the 2022-23 season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported several teams are expected to pursue Bledsoe once he clears waivers.

The veteran guard did not play a game with the Blazers after being traded to Portland at the February deadline. He averaged 9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 54 games with the Los Angeles Clippers before the trade.

While Bledsoe has clearly lost some of his athleticism and effectiveness over the last two seasons, he's still only 32 years old and could thrive in a more limited role. He has played at least 25 minutes per game each of the last 10 seasons; look for that number to dwindle into the high teens in his next stop.

The Blazers acquired Bledsoe more as a trade chip than as a player, hoping to coax a team in need of salary relief into another deal as they retool their roster. They found no takers despite moving his contract guarantee date back to July 10.

Losing Bledsoe for nothing hurts Portland in the interim because the team is losing a potentially valuable salary slot. They could have held onto him past the guarantee date and then kept the salary slot available in case a team wanted to acquire an expiring contract, but it's likely the Blazers explored that market and found it equally unappealing.