Now that the deal has been finalized, with Eric Bledsoe agreeing to a contract with the Phoenix Suns for the next five years, both parties had a few things to say about the team and their partnership as stated in a press release.
Suns' President of Basketball Operations, Lon Babby, had the following to say about Eric's new deal:
I learned long ago that it doesn’t matter how stormy the sea is as long as the ship comes in and today we are thrilled that the ship has come in and Eric will remain a Sun for a long time...He will be an integral part not only of our basketball team, but our Phoenix community.
Babby addressed the drawn-out, and seemingly contentious contract negotiations that took place over the past almost three months, while showing the Suns' gratitude for being able to sign Bledsoe to a new deal, and their plans to make him a long-standing member of not only the team, but the community in Phoenix as well.
This would be a much welcomed outcome if true, being that many fans have questioned whether Bledsoe ever wanted to be in Phoenix. Hopefully, now that the dust has settled and the ink has dried, Eric will be able to cultivate a bond with not only the organization and his teammates, but also ingratiate himself among the fans and the community as a whole.
Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough had the following to say about bringing Bledsoe back to the team:
We are thrilled Eric Bledsoe will be in a Phoenix Suns uniform for years to come...Eric is one the most exciting and dynamic two-way players in the league. He played very well for us on both ends of the floor last season and we feel he is well on his way to establishing himself as one of the elite players in the NBA.
This should come as no surprise. Bledsoe is one of the most dynamic two-way point guards in the NBA, and he made a significant impact on the Suns last year. In fact, the team was 25-12 when he was in the lineup along side of Dragic last year, and if he can stay healthy, there is no reason to think that he can't have the same effect in seasons to come.
Finally, let's here what the man himself, Eric Bledsoe, had to say about re-signing with the Phoenix Suns:
Lon, Ryan and the Suns have shown confidence in me, and I am looking to take that responsibility and help our team get better from last year and position ourselves to win an NBA championship...It’s why I came back to Phoenix. All summer, I knew that I really would be most comfortable coming back to Phoenix because of the great fans, my Suns teammates and our coaches. I am very happy it was able to work out this way.
This is quite a different response from the seemingly stoic, unemotional Bledsoe that many fans have grown accustomed to hearing from over the past season. But again, you have to realize that he was aware of his impending restricted free agency, and almost certainly guarded against saying anything that would lessen his leverage, such as saying he wanted to return to the Valley of the Sun.
If Bledsoe is to be believed, this is where he wanted to be all along. And honestly, why wouldn't he? It isn't often that a team can go from the expectation of being one of the worst in the league, to a 48 win season and only missing the Western Conference playoffs by one game.
Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, aka The Slash Brothers, were flat out great together. And now that the Suns have also added a third extremely talented guard to the mix in Isaiah Thomas, and also added a high scoring Rookie in T.J. Warren along with a promising rookie prospect in Tyler Ennis, the 2014-15 Suns team could be an even bigger success story than last year.
The Suns are glad to have Bledsoe back, and Bledsoe seems very happy to be a part of the Phoenix Suns over the long term.
It's a good bet that this partnership will make the fans pretty happy for seasons to come as well.