But according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, Bledsoe's desire to leave Phoenix is nothing new and wasn't prompted by the team firing head coach Earl Watson Sunday. Rather, Bledsoe reportedly had met with the team before the season began and made clear his desire to be traded.
It's hard to blame Bledsoe.
Since he signed a five-year, $70 million extension in September 2014, the Suns have gone just 86-163 and clearly tanked to close last season. Bledsoe was shut down last year with 14 games remaining and was one of several veterans who didn't see the court down the stretch. While Bledsoe had been dealing with knee soreness, Watson ultimately called the decision to sit him down a "management decision."
It was hard to see that decision as anything other than full-blown tanking. And Bledsoe, unsurprisingly, was less than pleased with the decision:
With the Suns struggling mightily to start the season—they've given up 128.7 points per game, worst in the NBA—and moving on to interim head coach Jay Triano, it would appear the team is heading toward another long and arduous campaign. The Suns will likely give their younger players as much playing time as possible to aid in their development, with the upside of potentially improving their odds of landing a top pick in next year's draft.
Bledsoe, 27, appears to be done with being a part of the team's rebuild. Ultimately, trading him for younger players or draft assets—Bledsoe is averaging 15.7 points per game and had career highs in points (21.1) and assists (6.3) last season, making him an intriguing option for a contending team—may be in the best interest of both parties.
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