When the Suns shipped out Boris Diaw and Raja Bell for I applauded the Suns’ efforts in obtaining a bona-fide scorer in return for two malcontents, including one with a bad contract.
With Amare Stoudemire out for the season, it’s unfortunate that after his Charlotte Bobcats visit US Airways Center tonight for the first time since the trade, Diaw will be nowhere in sight to take over starting power forward spot.
I expect Diaw to put up something like a 25-8-7 line tonight to show the Suns what they’re missing, but he doesn’t need to score a single basket, grab a single rebound or dish a single assist for the Suns to know what they’re missing while they try out, Matt Barnes, and Lou Amundson as their bigs next to Shaq.
When we see Diaw on the low block creating for his teammates, there’s no sense getting all nostalgic about how well he would fit in right now. This is the bed the Suns made for themselves (and again, it made sense at the time with Diaw’s contract not befitting backup minutes), and to quote one of my favorite sports clichés, it is what it is.
With the Suns back to their run and fun ways, maybe the Suns should think about a front office spot for Bell when his career is over the way he pushed so hard against the changes the team made at the beginning of the year under Porter.
Bell said all kinds of things in an interview with Phoenix reporters, among them being he thought Porter’s firing was for the better, there’s “no question” he would not have been traded if the Suns stuck with their old system and that he “didn’t have a lot of faith in what we were doing.”
He went on to tell KTAR that he was “one of the pieces that might have got lost in the move,” that he never found a way to work with Porter and Porter never found a way to work with him (as if we didn’t know that already) and then this doozy on the Suns returning to the up-tempo system he thought would be best all along:
“It is a bit frustrating to see that ultimately they decided to take that route and some of the things that I was trying to share with them. I tried to say things in my way that I didn’t feel like we were in the best positions to succeed with what we had.”
How about that, instead of shipping him to Charlotte, the Suns should have listened to Bell all along.
Bell is once again having fun playing in Charlotte for a club that couldn’t be more different than the Suns, ranking 27th in the NBA in pace factor.
The Bobcats’ offense is better than only that of the Clippers, scoring 100.1 points per 100 possessions, but their defense ranks eighth, yielding 103.0 points per 100.
Charlotte has gone 15-19 following the trade after a 7-14 start not including a game on the day of the trade, as Diaw has averaged 14.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 4.8 apg while Bell has chipped in 13.0 ppg.
The Suns were 13-9 when they made the deal and not including a game on trade day have since gone 18-14, with J-Rich averaging 16.5 per.