Per ESPN's Marc Stein, the Suns are reportedly looking to extend point guard Brandon Knight, who they acquired midseason to a 5 year - $70 million extension this offseason. This past year saw the Suns trade from their star point guard Goran Dragic, and newly acquired Isaiah Thomas. Through this turmoil, Eric Bledsoe was the Suns' most consistent player, putting up a 17.0-5.2-6.1 line, while playing in 81 games. But despite his strong performance, the Suns are interested in giving Brandon Knight the same 5 year -$70 million extension that Bledsoe received. This is a major sign that the Suns view Knight as their point guard of the future, not Bledsoe.
Shopping Bledsoe is nothing new for the Suns. During the Kevin Love saga last summer, the Suns made a late offer to the Timberwolves which was centered around Bledsoe. In addition, a report surfaced before the 2015 NBA Draft that the Suns were trying to acquire the Knicks' 4th overall pick, and were willing to part with Bledsoe to get it. During Bledsoe's tenure with the Suns, he has always been the odd man out. Whether it be Goran Dragic or Brandon Knight, there is always a rival point guard whom the Suns' Front Office prefers. The Suns smartly want to trade Bledsoe in order to bolster the rest of their team, and build around a backcourt of Brandon Knight and newly drafted Devin Booker.
If the Suns can strike a deal with another team for Bledsoe, it'll be for a win-now player. Ryan McDonough doesn't want to roll into another season as the 9th seed in the West, and net another late lottery pick (In the past eight drafts, the Suns have picked 13th-15th six times). While the market for Bledsoe is unclear at the moment, potential suitors will eventually emerge. It's impossible to ignore a lockdown perimeter defender, who can also run a high-powered offense. Bledsoe is an all-star caliber player, and the Suns aren't going to give him up for picks or prospects. They want to get a stud big man in return, or at the very least free up cap space to make a run at Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge this summer.
By going with Knight, the Suns are banking on him sustaining his marked improvement. After a disappointing two seasons on a toxic Pistons team, Knight was born again on a young Milwaukee team. He went from averaging 13 ppg to 18, and grew as a facilitator of an offense. He's a dynamic scorer who strikes a balance of drives and jumpers. While he's not a proficient shooter (just 36% on jump shots in 2015), he has a higher ceiling as a scorer than Bledsoe. Expectations will soar for him next season (if Bledsoe is traded), and we'll finally see if he can contribute on a winning team.
As for the likelihood of a trade, I think it's fairly likely. It doesn't have quite the certainty of "Rondo leaving the Celtics," but there is more than just smoke here. Even if the Suns don't have any ill feelings toward Bledsoe, after years of including him in trade talks, bad blood has surely developed, whether the Suns want to say so or not. For a team with playoff aspirations, Mcdonough won't want to weigh down the team with any further drama. He'll extend Knight, and part with Bledsoe. Someway, somehow.