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Eric Bledsoe sign-and-trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves shot down

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According to several reports, the Minnesota Timberwolves are making a strong push to land Eric Bledsoe on their rebuilding team. But then, all they want to give up is bad contracts.

Christian Petersen

Initial reports from Jude LaCava of Fox 10 in Phoenix have the Wolves making a straight offer to Bledsoe.

The Wolves, however, don't have the salary cap space to make that kind of deal without unloading some other contracts which makes this ESPN report from respected Brian Windhorst sound more feasible.

With just days before the start of training camp, the Minnesota Timberwolves are making a final push to acquire restricted free-agent guard Eric Bledsoe in a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns, sources told ESPN.com.

The Wolves are offering Bledsoe the four-year, $63 million maximum-level contract that he has been seeking, sources said.

The report doesn't name any players potentially involved in what is still very much only a rumored deal.

For the Suns, any action on the Bledsoe front is a positive sign. If they can put together a favorable (or at least acceptable) sign-and-trade they at least get value back instead of potentially losing him after a year of playing under the qualified offer. If the Wolves somehow cleared enough cap space to make a max offer of 4 years / $63m the Suns would still have the option of matching and putting this contract situation to bed. Either way, movement on this front is a positive sign.

The big name to think about in a deal with the Wolves is point guard Ricky Rubio. The Spanish youngster has one year left on his current rookie deal at $4.6m and then would become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Minnesota has reportedly been negotiating a contract extension with Rubio.

Rubio has shown himself to be a very capable defender and an above average playmaker who lacks shooting and scoring ability. You could make the case that his skill set would mesh well in a backcourt rotation with Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas.

There are other names to consider, of course, but at this point everything is just speculation. We'll wait and see how and if this plays out.

UPDATE:

Maybe this entire thing is just a treadmill exercise -- lots of energy to get nowhere.