Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Steve Kerr sure loves that Trade Machine. The Suns sent Raja Bell, Boris Diaw and rookie Sean Singletary to the Bobcats on Wednesday, in exchange for Jason Richardson, second-year forward Jared Dudley and a 2010 second-round pick. Here's what they're saying out in the ether about the five-player deal ... "After a week of uninspired play, the Suns decided to pull off this season's version of the Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol. In picking up Jason Richardson from the Charlotte Bobcats for Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and Sean Singletary, Steve Kerr revived the Suns' championship dreams. Dreams that had been on life support since last April. Some will claim the Suns gave up too much talent by trading Diaw and Bell. Those people would be wrong. From all accounts, Bell had amounted to a malcontent whose main role was complaining about Terry Porter’s system. Diaw had to be one of the most frustrating and wildly inconsistent players to ever put on a Phoenix Suns' uniform."

Rufus On Fire: "The following paragraph is not what I think will happen, but what I imagine the Bobcats' 'brain' trust envisions. On the floor, Diaw and Bell will step right in to the starting lineup. At the four, Diaw will be an improvement over Sean May, et al, thanks to his defense and health. And at the two, Bell will be a lockdown defender on guards. Unfortunately, in reality, Bell's offense is on the decline, and his defense has followed suit. He's probably below replacement level at this point. Also in reality, Diaw has had one fluky decent offensive season, and on a per-minute basis, Ryan Hollins was probably more valuable on offense last season."

Bright Side of the Sun: "[The Suns] moved Marion in a panic deal because he was a locker room cancer and now Kerr is pulling the trigger like a fantasy league GM on another rushed deal. I am not against a trade but I have to think that we could have moved Bell somewhere else like Memphis and got a young PG in return or perhaps to a young team like the Bucks or Nets for a vet big like Gadzuric. We give up a very solid front line back up and add a guy that needs the ball on a team without enough balls and another small forward when we've already got two starters in that position. At this point you have to wonder if Barbosa might be next to go and complete the purging of D'Antoni's boys."

Ben's Suns Blog: "Raja Bell has been complaining quite a bit this year, and that's really made me mad. Look, your role is to play defense and attempt to shut down the other team's main scorer. You haven't made shots ... Stop complaining. Boris Diaw, on the other hand, cannot co-exist with Amare. Just can't. He was an incredible player when Amare was out for the year but the other years has proven he cannot play with Amare. [...] This trade just rejuvenated the Suns. Last night at the game, we scored 120 points and there wasn't any jubilation. Suns fans feel that they were closer to winning two years ago and were desperately waiting to see a glimpse that we still have a shot." "My favorite part of this deal for the Suns is actually Jared Dudley. In a more open court system like Phoenix’s, Dudley could be a valuable weapon. He can score in a variety of ways, plays solid defense and attacks the glass. He isn’t going to take minutes away from Grant Hill and/or Matt Barnes anytime soon, but he can definitely be a big role player with the team next season and at the very least gives them a nice trade asset for a team that is desperate for wing players in the future."

NBA FanHouse: "... I'd love to see Diaw pretend to be a true power forward or to read what insults/backhanded compliments Brown comes up with for the local press. And — who knows? — maybe Brown is the type of ball-buster Diaw needs. So long as Brown sticks in Charlotte we'll get to see this play out, as Diaw's signed through 2012. If we know Brown, he makes personnel decisions from his seat on the sidelines. Perhaps he sees something in Diaw he can exploit to get the Bobcats in the playoff hunt. Perhaps not. We'll see."

TrueHoop: "When I watch the Suns, I see a team that, more than anything, needs to be healthier, younger, and more athletic. When there is a loose ball on the floor, I almost don't want the likes of Nash, Bell, Diaw, Grant Hill, or Shaquille O'Neal to dive for it, for fear they will break on impact. Richardson changes that. Compared to just about anybody on the Suns' roster, he's a bundle of young energy, even seven years into his NBA career. His contract is non-trivial, but the hit the Suns take there is alleviated largely by getting rid of Diaw's large deal."

Lakers Blog: "Richardson is a fantastic three point shooter (currently up around 46%) and given his explosive offensive talent — far more versatile than either Diaw or Bell — should help spread the floor for a team determined to force feed O'Neal down low. [...] On the other end, Richardson isn't a good defender, making you wonder how exactly they're going to continue the drive to improve in that area — again it looks like Phoenix is built to pile up points — but overall it's a net positive for the Suns, at least on a sheer talent level."

NBA Noise: "In what initially looked like a dominating trade heavily favoring Phoenix, this trade actually has some undertone advantages for Charlotte. Brown returns a player he coached to the Finals in Bell whose earned defensive accolades throughout the league and made him a target for boos in many arenas across the league. Diaw has proven himself mostly inconsistent when playing behind someone and given inconsistent minutes, but he nearly led Phoenix to the Finals in 2006 as a starter (before losing to Dallas in the WCF). I still have a suspicion that Charlotte could have gotten more for Richardson elsewhere and that this won't be the last of major changes to Phoenix this year. I'll give the immediate edge to the Suns in this trade for making a bold step to return to the up-tempo style we've all come to love and miss in Phoenix."

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