After Phoenix lost its first three games of the season, two of which by 40-plus points, Bledsoe tweeted "," which most interpreted as an obvious trade demand. Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said that Bledsoe told him he was referring to being at a hair salon, but McDonough didn't believe him. After that, McDonough acknowledged that Bledsoe would not be with the team moving forward.
McDonough RE: Bledsoe's tweet: "He said he was at a hair salon... I didn't believe that to be true. He won't be with us going forward."— ABC15 Sports (@abc15sports) October 23, 2017
On Tuesday, the day after the Suns picked up their first win of the season without Bledsoe or recently fired coach Earl Watson, McDonough said in an interview with Arizona Sports radio 98.7 that he feels Bledsoe is a good person, but that he received some poor advice.
"I was certainly surprised by it and disappointed by it," McDonough said. "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."
Later in the interview, McDonough clarified that he felt the bad advice was coming from Bledsoe's agent, Rich Paul, who represents a number of high-profile NBA players including LeBron James, John Wall and Ben Simmons.
"I think, just my opinion, the shift comes from contractual demands made by his representatives," McDonough said, "and that's what I was referring to when I said I think he got bad advice."
ESPN reports that Bledsoe met with McDonough and Suns owner Robert Sarver during the preseason to request a trade, and they responded by telling Bledsoe that the team had underperformed since he took over as the starting point guard.
McDonough also acknowledged that the Suns shut down Bledsoe against his wishes towards the end of last season.
"He was certainly hurt by getting shut down last year, and we understand that and respect that," McDonough said. "At the same time, it's a new year. He has multiple years left on his contract. I talked to Eric, met with him a couple times before the season started and he said he was excited about our group, excited to play with the young guys and thought we had a good thing going here."
No matter how it went south and who's to blame in this situation, Bledsoe is going to be traded. McDonough said they're in no rush to deal the disgruntled point guard, despite reported interest from the Knicks, Nuggets and Bucks. Bledsoe's trade value is at an all-time low given how public the whole situation has been and the Suns aren't in any hurry to win games, so considerable time might pass before a deal goes down.