Photo credit: Rick Scuteri/AP

After getting a look at the, uh, effort the Lakers are putting into making sure they hang onto their first-round pick in the upcoming NBA draft, the Phoenix Suns have decided to get in on that action.

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The 22-46 Suns are right behind the Lakers and the Nets with the third-worst record in the league. It’s been a rough few seasons for a team that shockingly won 48 games in 2013-14, and the backslide now looks more like a trend than a bump in the road. With the potential for a bounce-back year long gone, the Suns have shut down star point guard Eric Bledsoe for the rest of the season. They’re packing it in.

Bledsoe was a surprise scratch before last night’s game against the Kings, technically due to a “sore knee,” but head coach Earl Watson didn’t exactly shy away from the real reason behind the benching:

That’s about as clear an admission of tanking as you’ll ever see an NBA coach make. Watson was coy about whether Bledsoe would play at all for the rest of the season, but it wasn’t long before word of the indefinite shutdown got out:

For his part, Bledsoe doesn’t seem to thrilled about being banished for the final stretch of the season:

If Orlando or Philly still want to sneak in and grab a top-three pick, they better figure something out quickly. I suggest a “centers only” starting five.