The Phoenix Suns got their first win, but things have hardly settled since GM Ryan McDonough said guard Eric Bledsoe “won’t be” with the team following his ominous tweet on Sunday.
McDonough went on Arizona Sports radio 98.7 and elaborated on the situation, blaming Bledsoe’s representatives for the advice he’s been receiving. Bledsoe’s agent is Rich Paul, who also represents LeBron James and rookie of the year favorite Ben Simmons.
“I was certainly surprised by it and disappointed by it,” McDonough said, referring to Bledsoe’s “I don’t want to be here” tweet. “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.”
Paul declined comment when reached by USA TODAY Sports.
Bledsoe is on the trading block and there’s a level of mutual interest in joining the New York Knicks, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick. The Nuggets are known to be serious suitors for Bledsoe’s services as well.
The person requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.
Bledsoe’s tweet came around an hour before news broke of Earl Watson’s firing after an awful 0-3 start to the season. Bledsoe was sent home ahead of Monday’s game against the Sacramento Kings, which became the team’s first win.
“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,” McDonough said.
The Suns GM confirmed there’s been significant interest in Bledsoe.
“If you can imagine, my phone was ringing a lot yesterday,” he said in the radio interview. “The idea time to get a deal done is whenever the best offer presents itself. So we’ll be fine doing it sooner rather than later. At the same time, he’s under contract for this year plus next year. We sent him away from the team to eliminate that distraction.”
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Michael Singer on Twitter @msinger.