Heat Must Wonder What Could Have Been

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Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Bledsoe, PG – 4 years, $56 million:

Since Bledsoe is a restricted free agent, Miami would need to lock up somebody first, before tying money up for three days. Gasol satisfies that.

The Heat’s point guard target entering the summer was the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, who would have been an excellent secondary option with the ball, behind LeBron. With LeBron packing his bags, looking at the long-run is important. Lowry is 27 and isn’t going to accept a two year deal – especially after bouncing around the league a couple of times. This past season was Lowry’s coming out party and he was looking to cash in. He got a 4 year, $48 million deal to stay in Toronto, which seems fair.

Why Bledsoe then, a guy who’s first season as a starter was limited to 43 games because of injury in 2013-14? Well, he’s 23 years old and scratching the surface of his potential. While still learning the ropes of playing the point, scoring 17.7 points and dishing out 5.5 assists per game, as he shared those duties with Goran Dragic. Although a restricted free agent, Bledsoe played for the Suns, who are owned by notoriously cheap Robert Sarver, so a high enough offer might actually cause them to part ways with him. Phoenix did offer Bledsoe a 4 year, $48 million pact, which Bledsoe declined, so there’s a chance that our fake offer for him could be enough to get it done. Besides, the Suns just signed Isaiah Thomas, so it’s not like point guard depth is an issue for them. Seems like they could be parting ways with him, unless Bledsoe signs his qualifying offer and takes his chances next offseason as an unrestricted free agent.

But is our offer too much? Yeah, probably. However, if Bledsoe’s talent lives up to the hype, you’ve locked up what can possibly develop into a  top-5 point guard until he’s 27. The more I think about it, the more I think of Riley’s plan for having flexibility for the summer of 2016, therefore Bledsoe makes sense. This becomes important later.

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