As a Mets fan (K-Rod last night, J.J. Putz in 12 player trade tonight), I actually overlooked this trade for most of the day.
SG Jason Richardson (83)
SF Jared Dudley (74)
SG Raja Bell (80)
PF Boris Diaw (77)
PG Sean Singletary (72)
J-Rich would have been a great fit on this team two years ago with Mike D'Antoni; under defensive minded Terry Porter, I have to think this acquisition was more about dumping Boris Diaw's massive contract than anything else.
GM Steve Kerr is intent on rebuilding while staying as competitive as possible. The problem with such a plan is it rarely renders a championship, which players like Nash and Shaq are clearly seeking at this stage of thier careers.
J-Rich has more talent than Bell, but he may not be a better fit. J-Rich's defense is so pathetic that MATT CARROLL was drawing the tougher assignment last season. Since his knee surgery, J-Rich has become far more content bombing away from three (only average handles dont help hm get to the basket either). Raja Bell only bombs away from three (and he obviously isn't much for ball handling) so the Suns offensive gains could be minimal... while the leap from Bell to J-Rich defensively could be akin to the leap one makes off a cliff. Nash/J-Rich could easily be the worst defensive backcourt in the league, and this is a league with the Golden State Warriors we're talking here.
What's worse is Leandro Barbosa is no help in this department. Since he is no longer Nash's backup, I have to think he's the next one headed out of town. He is struggling without Mike D'Antoni (predictably, I might add) and is essentially a shorter J-Rich. Barbosa's contract makes him tough to trade, and the team would almost certainly need another guard in return. I doubt there's much of a market for him when guys like Anthony Roberson are willing to take minimum contracts
And can ya'll just sign Damon Stoudamire already? You only have two PGs and I can't imagine Goran Dragic playing 40 minutes per game if Nash got hurt. No, he doesn't help the defense, but I'd rather have a vet who played at Zona who could actually step in rather than a Kevin Ollie type, or worse, Smush Parker. (Speaking of Anthony Roberson types, and Damon Stoudamire, whats cousin Salim doing about now? He wouldn't be any worse than Barbosa's been).
Dudley for Diaw is a wash, at least talent wise. Diaw owes Mike D'Antoni at least half of that 45 million dollar contract. As a ball-handling center in a run/gun, Diaw's alright. He doesn't have much value on a team with a healthy Amare/Shaq, and his play has not improved one bit since signing the deal. Dudley is much cheaper and is an undersized PF, which is good enough. The little things that seperate Diaw and Dudley are not worth the additional 8 million per.
All in all, the Suns seem to be moving sideways in the present, but forward looking towards the future. Just don't expect Kobe Bryant to average fewer than 50 against the Suns the rest of the year.
J-Rich was not a good fit the moment Larry Brown signed on as head coach. He gets a defensive minded player he should love in Raja Bell.
Boris Diaw, as overpaid and overrated as he might be, is actually the best PF the Bobcats have (assuming the pre-injury Sean May is gone forever as it seems he might be.)
I suppose Sean Singletary fills the 3rd string PG role, not that he'll ever be needed as Felton/Augustin never get tired and are quite durable. Of course, Felton will probably see even more SG time now...
Overall, the Bobcats stand to improve more than the Suns did from this trade. Of course, when Gerald Wallace has his annual injury, things are going to get even uglier on the offensive end.
Michael Jordan traded 2006 #7 pick Brandan Wright for Raja Bell.
Wright's 21 years old now. Bell is 32.
ONCE UPON A TIME, I PILED ON MIKE
Raja Bell: 5 years, 25 million
Matt Carroll: 6 years, 27 million
Bell's a bit underpaid, and at least Carroll's salary decreases as he gets older, but man, that was a lot of money and years to a D-Leaguer. Gerald Green was available for the minimum this summer.
I give kudos to MJ for realizing J-Rich shouldn't be the long-term starter, but it's not like Bell should be either. He should move to the bench next season (if not sooner!) but where does that leave Carroll and Morrison? (...I guess for a Bobcats fan the favorable answer would be "Not on the team".)