Grading the Josh Childress and Hedo Turkoglu trades


The Phoenix Suns and owner Robert Sarver came out of nowhere to make a huge splash Sunday evening, wheeling and dealing for swingman Josh Childress and shooter/playmaker Hedo Turkoglu.

The general consensus is that both of these moves are steps in the right direction for Phoenix, especially considering the Suns almost lost Amare Stoudemire for nothing.

Both players will come in and make an instant impact for the Suns, each bringing different elements to the table. But when the dust settles and the excitement of new blood in Phoenix wears off, how should these trades be evaluated?

Suns trade 2012 second-round pick for Josh Childress, 5-year, $33 million

Every offseason a perimeter defender is on the Suns’ wish list, but they can never seem to fill that need — until now.

Phoenix has always struggled mightily to defend the perimeter and it’s killed them in the playoffs year in and year out. Grant Hill was the closest thing to that, but let’s be honest: the man is 38 years old. But with the addition of Josh Childress the Suns have finally brought in an athletic swingman who can guard multiple positions and cut down penetration.

Not only does Josh Childress fill a need as a perimeter defender, but he also is young enough to be a part of the Suns' future.

The $33 million he’s getting is a little pricey for a guy who’s never really reached his potential and didn’t even play in the NBA last season, but when you consider the type of money Drew Gooden, Amir Johnson and Wes Mathews got, Childress is a total steal.

The Suns do already have a slew of swingmen types in Jason Richardson, Hill and Jared Dudley, but none of them are long and physical defenders, and Dudley may be the only one in a Suns uniform after next season.

Not only does Childress fill s a huge need for the Suns, but he also fits the system perfectly.

He isn’t a very good shooter; in fact he has one of the ugliest shots in the NBA, but he averaged over 10 points per game in all of his four years in Atlanta, shooting over 50 percent in three of the seasons.

He has a good first step, does a good job attacking the basket and thrives in the open court. The Stanford almunus is also a good rebounder for his position — 5.6 boards per game during his NBA career — and has terrific size and versatility.

At 6-foot-8 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan Childress can defend forwards and guards, but his frail frame won’t allow him to defend in the post. He’s still only 27 years old and has barely scratched the surface as a player. He put up impressive stats overseas, averaging over 15 points per game as the most heralded American player in Europe.

Childress hasn’t proven all-too much as an NBA player, but he fills a need for the Suns, is young enough to be a part of the future core, and considering the market, isn’t on too bad of a contract. Great move for the Suns.

Grade: A-

Suns deal Leandro Barbosa in a sign-and-trade for Hedo Turkoglu

While the Suns know exactly what they’re getting in Childress, the addition of Hedo Turkoglu could turn out to be a dream scenario or a complete nightmare. After becoming a bonafide scorer and clutch shooter with the Orlando Magic, Turkoglu had a falling out with the Toronto Raptors.

He averaged only 11.3 points in 74 games with the Raptors last season and was questioned for his shot selection, effort and intelligence. It sounds like he lacks hustle and desire, and is too fond of the night life off the court.

If Hedo Turkoglu plays like he did for the Orlando Magic, the Suns are in good shape for next season.

But his skill-set fits in perfectly fit with the Suns. He can create off the dribble, shoot the three, and would be a great fit playing with Nash.

At 6-foot-10 he can play the power forward position and spread the floor, which is music to Nash’s ears.

He can also be the late-game scorer the Suns have been missing, and you would have to assume that he’d be a little more motivated to play for a playoff team than the Raptors.

But he is a guy that wants and needs the ball in his hands, which may not fly with the no-ego Suns. And he’s also already 31 years old with four more years on his contract that will average out to a little more than $10 million annually.

Add in that he’s a terrible rebounder for his size and a sub-par defender and you begin to scratch your head a bit.

But the positives that come from his offensive ability should outweigh the negatives of his game, and the Suns were able to avoid paying $14.7 million over the next two seasons to a player who barely sees the floor anymore in Barbosa.

If there is one team that will showcase his skills to the fullest it’s the Phoenix Suns. So while there are a ton of reasons why this deal could go wrong, I think the good will ultimately outweigh the bad and we’ll see the Orlando Magic version of Tukoglu in Phoenix.

Grade: B

Tags: Hedo Turkoglu Josh Childress

  • $-The Moneyman-$

    I agree completely. While Turkoglu is a bit of an unknown entity at this point (in regards to whether we'll see the guy who helped push the Magic to the finals or the guy who rocked the Toronto club scene) Childress is a solid player who helps fill a huge need. He should fit in nicely as a member of that defensive second unit, or even as a starter if we trade Richardson. Even though the Suns still have some glaring weaknesses, I am far more confident about the upcoming season today than I was yesterday.

  • JayhawkBen

    Glad to hear Childress is a perimeter defender, though it's tough to have a wing on the floor that can't shoot (seems to undermine the Suns system). Of course, he wouldn't be the first player to find a shot in Phx.

    I am concerned that the 2 "bigs" we pick up to replace Amare are each worse defenders and rebounders. Guess us Suns fans gotta hope Robin can handle all the big-man duties. I didn't even know there were 2 PF in the league worse at rebounding and defending than Amare.

  • martinez

    well i look at the positives and its looking like the suns are going to be terrors at the 3 point line and well hope fully the new draftess can be dirt workers and attack and be hungry no matter who there defending

  • Josh

    You're grade for Childress is laughable to me… They over payed for a guy not even in the NBA last year. Who didnt exactly play well in Greece either… He is also a bad FT shooter and as you say he has an ugly shot… A 6'8 guard who doesnt shoot well, averaged only 5 boards a game and 2 assists…

    How is this a good signing again?

  • Michael

    the suns can do my idea of all five 3 point shooters on the floor at once to mess up the defense. have nash jrich dudley turkoglu and frye playing at the same time and see what happens. the opposing big men will have to step out at least a little to defend, and nash can work his magic there. i hope gentry does this a lot to confuse the defense

  • ghost of Darko

    thank you, Mr. Sarver. you weren't satisfied leaving the body of the Suns lying on the floor in a bloody heap. you had to douse the body with kerosene then toss a lit match upon it. again, thanks.

    the only reason to sign Nash to the extension you gave him is if you're going to compete for championships. that means you pay Amar'e, then go out on the market & find yourself some more rebounding. by pushing Amar'e & Barbosa out the door and bringing in Childress & Hedo the Suns have become less athletic, less explosive AND defensively weaker at the same time.

    good luck making the playoffs next year, where a 1st-round sweep will surely await. and just wait 'til you get a whiff of the detritis that is Turkoglu.

  • Dan

    Can’t hate on Tukoglu for ditching his 5 mil in trade cash and lowering his last years guaranteed money; hopefully this shows he is a team player.

  • RapsFan

    More than welcome to have him. Hopefully he plays for you. But keep in mind we lost our playoff spot on the last day of the season and that wasn’t enough motivation for him.

  • Daniel

    I keep seeing posts from Raptors fans like the one above…I just hope his ball hunger doesn’t affect the chemistry, it was easily one of the best aspects of last years team

  • Mel.

    ^Seems like at least Lawal is going to fit that bill. Thus far, he seems to be embarrassing Clark in the Summer League breakdowns.

  • RapfanDan

    I’m sending sympathy flowers to Steve Nash. I thought Colangelo liked Steve. I can’t believe he send him that fat, lazy, cheque casher Turkoglu. I may not be able to cheer for the Suns in the playoffs next year )-:

  • Luke

    I’m going to go ahead and re-post what I posted from the previous story here because of how much I hate this trade.

    Sure, Phoenix will be more competitive next year than they would have been without these trades, but Sarver’s ruined our future flexibility.

    With Nash gone after next year, I see no way we compete after that with a starting 5 of Dragic, Childress (with J-Rich gone also), Dudley/Clark, Hedo (at 33), and Lopez. Lots of good role players but no star power, and no cap space (because of Hedo, Childress, and Warrick’s contracts) for the next 3 years to sign one.

    This only makes me wish we would’ve gone ahead and signed Amare to that max deal. Then we at least would’ve had someone to build around. Instead we got an aging big man and a couple of sorry role players… After this season, everybody will be calling for Sarver’s head, as they should be doing right now. I’m sick of him.

  • vazelos(Josh knows)

    LEARN HOW TO PLAY bBALL…..PLEASE. Europe ain’t crap after all, U guys….. Hideo is a complete player with experience at least, but JOSH CHILDRESS????? Please. the worst money spent for the past 2 years & for the next 5 to come. Can’t shoot can’t play(BRICK LAYER the guy sould go to Albania & help rebuilt it for free)….unless we’re talking about cherry seed spitting competition. Hey Josh! I guess the looser in U in the NBA will be another refferee fault….. CYA

    Dimitris Diamantidis

  • Andrew

    I like Hedo alot, reminds me of a scaled down Dirk. Childress and and Warrick just haven’t been given a chance. Nash will be the leading scorer though, and that isn’t fair.

  • DAG

    I absolutely love these trades. It will completely destroy the team’s chance to complete for multiple seasons, driving the value of the franchise through the floor. Then when I win the lottery, I’ll buy the team and rescue a once proud franchise. I won’t achieve this because I’m some basketball savant, I’m just not flat stupid.

  • DAG

    Steve Nash is the best creating point possibly ever. If he is your top scorer, your team sucks.

  • joe

    Hey Luke if after next year we lost Nash and J-Rich then that would free up around 26million. So we would have lots of cap space. These trades don’t hurt our future hardly at all. The suns are never going to be bad enough to get a top 5 pick in the lottery and so the only way the suns are going to land a top level player is through a trade or signing. J-Rich is the contract that’s hurting us. He’s a good player but not great. Lebron and wade just signed for 16.5 each. That’s only 3million more than J-Rich is making. We need to get that off the books to trade for a great player. If the Hornets rebuild we should do everything to go after CP3.

  • ghost of Darko

    @joe: much like we’ve just seen with tier 1 free agents this summer, when CP3 is free in 2012, he’s going to a team with championship-ready pieces. the Suns don’t have players that would interest the Hornets to give up CP3 & he sure isn’t signing here as a free agent.

    to your point: at this juncture the Suns best bet is to become bad enough to get a top 4 pick. stick a fork in the Nash era as a competitive entity…it’s done.

  • joe

    The suns are one player away from being at the top of the west with L.A. once again. We lost a all-star PF so we need to replace him with a player of the same caliber. David West or Al Jefferson are both just as good as Amare on offense and better on defense. That’s where the suns focus should be now. Get one of those guys and we won’t miss a beat. Add West or Jefferson with the additions of Turkoglu and Childress will give us an even better team than last year. We are very close to having a GREAT offseason.

  • Steve

    While some people hating on this trade have valid points, I think they’re brash overreactions. Hedo is terrible defensively, admittedly. But it is impossible to be a worse off-the-ball defender than Amare. He is just as bad, maybe, but he is not worse. Our defense has not significantly worsened at all. Amare is one of the worst defensive bigs I have ever seen play the game of basketball.

    And to those who think Childress can’t play, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Is he Kobe Bryant? No, but he’s not getting paid like it either. He’s getting paid like a role player who is expected to score about 10-12 points per game, contribute some hustle and effort, and maybe pull down four boards or so. $5M is what you pay for the type of production Childress is going to give. The Suns should be competitive again. And when I say they should be competitive, I mean that they can be among the top of the West again if they mesh like they did last year.

  • oyt

    First of all Hedo Turkoglu’s nightlife was exaggerated by the Raptors. That incident everyone talks about where Hedo couldn’t play because he had the flu (and doctors told him not to) and later he went ‘clubbing’? He went to the club because most of the team was there and Bargnani texted him to come join the team, and he did for like 15 minutes…. Raports fans are blaming last years’ horrendous season on Turkoglu, but as someone who watched all 82 games – I can tell you they had the softest team in the league (Bargnani+Calderon worst defenders I’ve ever seen), Bosh (still too skinny to man up in the paint) and DeRozan who’s just an average rookie. Did Hedo have a bad season? Absolutely, the worst of his life. But what do you expect when you put him in the worst team possible with a ball hugging point guard, and an already abysmal defensive team, and relegate him to a spot up 3pt shooter.

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  • Steve

    Some basketball sense? What is this, oyt? I thought there was nothing but haters any more. Good points.

  • joe

    @ghost of darko….If the hornets struggle at the beginning of the season(which is very likely) then CP3 will demand a trade and West will become available. West is not a slow post player as you claim. He has better post moves than Amare and can shoot from the outside as well. Now if the suns don't want to wait for West to be available, and since Jefferson is off the market and on the Jazz now, then there's only 2 options i see that could work. One is trading for Antwan Jamison (who is a great fit for the suns system) and the cavs would love to free up his cap space. Idk what the pieces the suns would have to give up, but it probably won't be much and with that 5.7million trade exemption left i'm sure they could put together a compareable package salary wise to land him. The second option would be to get Emeka Okafor. I agree that his contract is a bit of a burden, but the defensive presence he would bring would give the suns the ability to match up with Gasol and Bynum. Okafor is a very good rebounder/post defender and shot blocker. The suns have enough offense to win alot of games already. Granted their ppg would probably decrease a little with Okafor instead of Amare, but there Defense would be greatly improved. With Lopez and Okafor guarding the paint the "Olay" defense would be no more. Both those guys are very tough and don't give up any easy layups like Amare does so often. Okafor is almost as good as Ben Wallace use to be, and look what Wallace did for detroit. Plus i'm sure his offense would improve on the suns because Nash would find him for alot more easy shots inside than he ever got with the Bobcats or Hornets. The more i think about it, the better Okafor sounds to me. Defense wins championships and that's what Okafor specialty is. That's what the suns need and have never had. POST DEFENSE!!!!

  • Stacey

    Maybe a reach…but Josh Childress was once considered (a few years back ) a 'poor mans' version of Shawn Marion on the Hawks…especially defensively….remember how bad Marion shot? Look how he excelled with Nash …look at Marion since he has been traded….he is a shell of what he was here in Phoenix. Maybe Nash can facilitate the same with Childress?

  • ghost of Darko

    @Joe – Amare’s explosiveness & versatility made the screen-roll & subsequent spacing work. West & Jefferson are plodding, post-up, ISO players. those players (see: Shaq) don’t work in the D’Antoni system. besides, neither West nor Jefferson is available.

    @Steve – Amare’s off-ball D is bad. Hedo’s ON-ball D is atrocious.

    net effect: you cannot replace a superstar with a few role players & a ham sandwich and get the same results. if Sarv was gonna spend the money anyway, then go ahead and give it to Amare.

  • Taylor Griffin

    at least hedo is proven. wc finals here we come.

  • Charles Rock

    Cant wait to see what happens… Josh is coming, any news on Hedo, since Charlotte pulled out of the Trade, and sent Tyson Chandler to Dalls?

  • ghost of Darko

    look – I know you guys are Suns fans…we all are. but, c’mon! comparing Ben Wallace & Emeka Okafor…Amare & David West…Shawn Marion & Josh Childress…this is beginning to sound a bit desperate. btw, the magician you all are expecting to hold it all together & produce career years from this Spare Parts Express will be 37 this season.