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.
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.
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.
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.