Waiting For The Eric Bledsoe Domino To Fall


This past Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that restricted free agent Greg Monroe signed a qualifying offer making him a member of the Detroit a Pistons for one more year. That should be it right? There shouldn’t be any more major players left on the market, correct?

Wrong. While most teams have locked up their free agency and are readily waiting for training camp, the Phoenix Suns and restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe continue to hold out on agreeing to a deal. Although the Suns offered Bledsoe a 4-year, $48M offer, Bledsoe and his agent Rich Paul are standing firm on only accepting a max contract or no deal at all.

So what? How does this possibly even remotely relate to the Rockets? Well, quite simply, any move the Rockets plan to make is contingent on Eric Bledsoe’s contract dispute. How come the Rockers just don’t give a max offer sheet to Bledsoe outright?

Apr 12, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) makes a layup against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Bledsoe is a risky person to offer that kind of money for one. Also, there is also a significant chance that Phoenix will match any offer the Rockets throw at Bledsoe. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the Rockets are also holding out to maintain good relations with Phoenix. In fact, it would actually be in their best interest if Daryl Morey continues to watch the situation in Phoenix from afar as he’s been doing for the past couple months now.

Now what benefit does this give to Houston? When has Houston ever cared to keep good relations with a team?

In the event of a trade, it’s always best to keep good relations with a team. Now, we’ve mentioned the Rockets possibly entertaining to trade for Goran Dragic or Eric Bledsoe several times here at HouseOfHouston and there have been numerous reports thrown out there showing just that. Houston has interest in these point guards and it isn’t hard to envision Daryl Morey trying to swipe any one of these star point guards.

It’s very simple. Once Eric Bledsoe is under contract, the Suns will have a log-jam at the point guard position making one of their point guards (more than likely Goran Dragic) up for grabs for any willing suitors with something valuable to offer.

It makes sense for the Rockets to wait on Bledsoe to be signed before making a move with Phoenix, but how does this hold them back from making a move for Rajon Rondo before the season starts?

Feb 19, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) against Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) at US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Celtics 100-94. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, what happens in Phoenix, ultimately affects the Rocket’s pursuit of Rajon Rondo significantly. If Daryl Morey were to make a call to Danny Ainge right now to propose a trade for Rondo, Danny Ainge would have leverage because there is no team out there offering up their star point guard for trade (granted not many teams need a point guard at the moment). Danny Ainge is every bit as hard headed and aggressive as Daryl Morey. He wants to “win” every trade he makes every bit as bad as Morey does. The Rockets would be forced to pay an even steeper price now, than if they would have waited for Eric Bledsoe to be signed.

With Goran Dragic potentially up for grabs at the trade deadline, the Rockets gain additional leverage in any discussions with the Celtics for Rondo. Morey can choose to “walk out” on Ainge’s offer for a more favorable that Phoenix is offering for Dragic if he feels that is best for the Rockets. This could drive the price down considerably for any offer for Rondo and Danny Ainge would effectively be competing with Phoenix to make a more appealing offer to Morey. Ideally, the Rockets want to go into the trade deadline with options. This is why the Rockets’ future effectively rests on the contract dispute of Eric Bledsoe.

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Make no mistake, if the Rockets continue to wait it out until Bledsoe is signed, they will be in the driver’s seat come trade deadline considering the draft picks they collected from the Pelicans and the Kings and their wealth of young talent. However, first, the Eric Bledsoe domino has to fall before the wheels begin turning in motion on any trade talks between teams. It’s in Morey’s best interest to continue watching from a distance before making any phone calls.

The way things are shaping out, the Rockets are probably going to have to wait until the trade deadline before any major moves are made but stranger things have happened. (Example: James Harden trade). As training camp nears, that theoretical domino will eventually succumb to the pressure of the start of the season, and eventually there will be movement on the Bledsoe front. Once that domino falls, we will begin to see that ripple effect throughout the league, particularly in Houston. Until then, Daryl Morey will continue to closely monitor that domino as it tinkers and wobbles, makes it’s way down.

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