Is Charlotte the new France? « Queen City Hoops

Is Charlotte the new France?

I get home from church and have not even had time to check the score of the game…and I have this email waiting from BallHype:

Thoughts on the Suns/Bobcats trade and video of new player Jared Dudley.

The Suns new player Jared Dudley?! What the deuce? I head to ESPN…and it gets worse: Suns score Cats' Richardson in big trade. Am I awake? Is this real?

And (barring some Matrix type stuff that I am still not clued into) the answer is yes, this is for real. Charlotte has dealt Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley, and a 2010 (conditional) second round pick to Phoenix for…wait for it…Boris Diaw…Raja Bell…and Sean Singletary. And that is it. My initial reaction: Are you kidding me?

Here are the reasons for my incredulity:
1. Boris Diaw's contract, while slightly smaller ($9M per year to Jason's $13.3M average) runs an extra year…unless you assume Diaw will be opting out of a contract that pays him $9M despite having a single above average season in the NBA. That's right – Richardson's deal expires after the 10/11 season. Boris will almost certainly be cashing checks from his current deal through the season after that.
2. That whole 1 above average season thing for Diaw. Yes – Diaw has 1 season in the NBA where he posted a PER above 15 – that was in 05-06, when he posted a 17.31. Worth mentioning about that career year – Amare Stoudemire was out, so Boris was able to assume a far more significant offensive role than he has been able to receive/earn since. Oh, and Diaw was playing under a bit more progressive offensive coach than Larry Brown. Not sure if Diaw will be afforded the freedom he had that year under D'Antoni.
3. I think Phoenix is getting the 3 best players out of this deal. Jason Richardson > Boris Diaw. Jared Dudley > Raja Bell (probably – Bell is 32 now, and not the same elite defender he used to be). A Bobcats 2nd round pick (when they are not picking) > Sean Singletary. I like Sean, having seen him play a lot in college due to his being in the ACC. But being a sub-6 foot 2 guard is tough to pull off. Being the team getting the short end on each of the 3 player match ups is tough to justify.

It may be tough to justify, but I will give it a try.
1. Boris Diaw gets the chance to be a more central offensive player than he has the last couple of years in PHX. Maybe he bounces back with a bit more of focus on him. He definitely should get a chance to play as the Bobcats are desperate for help at the 4 – seriously, if they are considering Juwan Howard at this point, they are desperate. M.J. and Higgins need to find a good wingman to talk them out of that one.
2. Gerald goes back to being a bit more of a focus. Gerald had subjugated his game for the betterment of the team with Jason on the court – but it was not necessarily in the Bobcats best interest, considering that Gerald is a bit more efficient putting the ball in the basket. Yes, Jason had the higher scoring average last year…but Gerald scored more points per attempt 1.32 to 1.19.

I am not crazy about this trade…but I am not as upset as when I first saw the news. There are a couple of positives in it…and potential. If it yields anything, well, we just have to wait and see.

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