Deconstructing a Confusing Suns/Bobcats Trade


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↵I'm not sure how Gerald Wallace wasn't part of the the gigantic Suns/Bobcats trade that went down last night. We've heard months of rumors about him leaving Charlotte, and supposedly Richardson's contract made him the untrade-able one. And yet here those Cats are, unloading a contract that, if not a total waste of dough, at least was preventing them from moving forward with whatever it is Jordan and Brown have in mind. ↵
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↵But for anyone thinking that this means Phoenix and Charlotte get to hit reset on their disappointing seasons, think again. And I mean think really, really hard, because what follows will only plunge you into further confusion. That's where I'm at regarding this deal. Please save me. ↵
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↵The Suns side: Jason Richardson is an underrated weapon, especially as a rebounding guard. Pre-Larry Brown, he put up some immense numbers in Charlotte, and we've almost forgiven him for being reduced to a spot-up three-point shooter during the Warriors' epic 2006-07 playoff run. He'll bring some much needed dynamism to a Suns team that's creakier every day, but how do we know he won't be expected to fill the long-range shoes of Raja Bell, lost to Cha-town in this trade? Plus, between Amare, Shaq and Nash's dribbling around in circles -- in a good way, natch -- will he be able to execute that many between-the-legs dunks during games? He's not such a hot defender either, at least not on Bell's level. Phoenix probably can't afford to take on that contract, but losing Diaw makes it a little easier. Jared Dudley is a gem in the rough. Good thing he'll be part of the emergent big man army down there, which is a little like the Nets, but better. ↵
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↵The Bobcats case: Let's begin with the basic premise that Larry Brown is an uncreative, grouchy coach, and Michael Jordan an awful GM. That said, they did a good job unloading Richardson, even if they only did it because he reminded Jordan too much of himself. But look at who they received. Yes, Raja got his first start with Brown. But he only turned into a solid night-in, night-out contributor with the Suns, where he became the defensive stopper and got entrusted with the long ball (which Brown carries around holy water to disspell). ↵

↵Boris Diaw is an even stranger case. The jury remains out as to whether he's a pure creation of D'Antoni's genius, or a rare talent that only makes sense with that team. Regardless, he's sucked the less "pure" the Suns have gotten, and now is going to hang out in that polar opposite of appositional SSOL. It's also strange that he's on the same roster with Alexis Ajinca, who is like Diaw but younger, taller and more impressionable. ↵
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↵Thus, color me unimpressed by either side, largely because I know exactly what these players are walking into. I hope to be pleasantly surprised, and was definitely into seeing this big a deal go down out of the blue. But methinks there is much eye-groaning and head-rolling in the immediate future of these players. Oh, and my own. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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