You know what many NBA fans fear right now? They’re valued free agents being seen or connected with the Miami Heat. Unfortunately for Phoenix Suns fans, that nightmare has become reality as free agent point guard Eric Bledsoe was seen eating dinner with Miami Heat team president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Post-LeBron James, the Miami Heat have been every bit of active. They’ve re-signed Chris Bosh to the max. Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, and Danny Granger have joined the fold as well as Chris Andersen and Mario Chalmers by way of re-signing. This organization is doing their best of showing no panic as James is now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, showing aggression in free agency to improve the team’s odds for the 2014-15 season.
And as we see, previous reports of the Miami Heat being interested in Eric Bledsoe are completely true.
Fortunately for the fans of the Phoenix Suns, two things are playing in their favor.
With the Heat reloading for the next few seasons, cap space isn’t on their best side at the moment. With Deng, Cole, Chalmers, McRoberts, Bosh, Granger, and Andersen signed, they’re close to the cap line. Once you add in the deals Dwyane Wade and Udonish Haslem will receive, as well as the signings of Shabazz Napier and James Ennis, they’ll then grow closer to the luxury tax line, making it near impossible to offer anything close to the max.
And thanks to the CBA rules, the Suns, due to Bledsoe’s restricted free agency, have the ability to match any contract offered to Bledsoe in free agency. Of course, that is, if Phoenix is willing to do so as we just saw the Houston Rockets let Chandler Parsons go to the Dallas Mavericks as a RFA. With Isaiah Thomas under contract, many have grown weary that Phoenix won’t match a Bledsoe deal, but considering they’ve an ample amount of cap space and Bledsoe could become a huge trade asset (Kevin Love?), the odds of Phoenix not matching are slim to none.
Riley and company always have something up their sleeves, so it’ll be interesting to see how they approach this situation. After losing the best player in the world, a starting lineup of Eric Bledsoe, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Danny Granger, and Josh McRoberts would be one hell of a way to bounce back from that.