Suns Acquire Jason Richardson

December 10th, 2008

By: Bill Ingram  

The Phoenix Suns had to do something. Their big gamble, taking on the aging (and expensive) Shaquille O'Neal, wasn't paying off. In fact, a quarter of the way into the 2008-09 season the Suns were looking like a team in real trouble.

The Charlotte Bobcats were going nowhere fast. A coaching change was supposed to get their young team headed in a new direction, but a quarter of the way into the 2008-09 season that wasn't the case. They were even having trouble finding a trading partner to help get them out of the situation.

Well, on Wednesday evening a lot changed for both the Phoenix Suns and the Charlotte Bobcats. The two teams worked a significant trade, with Charlotte sending Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley and a future second round pick to Phoenix for Raja Bell, Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary.

The deal immediately helps both teams, with Phoenix getting a premier perimeter scoring threat who should help carry the scoring load during Shaq's frequent breaks. It also resolves the trade rumors that have flurried around Diaw and Bell since early last summer.

The Bobcats get some much-needed depth with a solid scorer and defender in Bell and a post threat in Diaw. As much as Bell and Diaw were part of a good defensive team in Phoenix, it's their offense the Bobcats are hoping to capitalize on. Charlotte was already the fourth-best defensive team in the league, but their 89.85 point per game is currently dead last in the NBA.

"We're excited about the opportunity to add these new pieces to our team," Bobcats GM Rod Higgins said in a statement.  "While we're giving up two key members of our rotation, we feel like Raja, Boris and Sean can help us improve our team."

The best trade is one that helps both sides immediately, and on paper this trade meets that criteria. The Suns and Bobcats have addressed some glaring needs with this deal.