Phoenix Suns trade Richardson, Turkoglu, Clark to Orlando Magic for Vince Carter, Gortat, Pietrus

In a move that seemed to come out of nowhere, the Phoenix Suns on Saturday traded Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, a 2011 1st round draft pick and about $3 million, according to a Suns release.

ESPN’s Chris Broussard, as well as a number of other sources, reported midday Saturday that the deal was close, and confirmed later that it would happen before the Suns’ 2:49 p.m. MST release made it official.

“This transaction helps us now and in the future,” Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said in the release.  “While it is difficult to see players like Jason, Hedo and Earl depart, we are excited to welcome Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mikael Pietrus.  Marcin addresses our need for more size, rebounding and defensive presence.  Vince and Mikael will be dynamic in our offense and improve our perimeter defense.  Gaining a first-round pick in this year’s draft is an added bonus.”

The deal sends Turkoglu back to the team where he succeeded most, brings another big man to Phoenix and leaves the Suns without their top scorer.

Richardson is currently averaging 19.3 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Suns and will now join his fourth NBA team.

Turkoglu has been widely criticized in Phoenix for his lack of production after the Suns acquired the 6-10 small forward in the offseason to play power forward on an undersized team. Off the bench, Turkoglu has averaged 9.5 points and four rebounds per game.

Clark has struggled in Phoenix as well since the Suns drafted him 14th overall in 2009. The Louisville product was averaging about eight minutes per night, but has only played in seven games this season for the 12-13 Suns.

The Suns replace Richardson with the oft-injured Carter, who is averaging 15.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game this season. They also get Gortat, a fourth-year center who will provide experience behind Robin Lopez, and replace Turkoglu’s spot on the bench with Pietrus, who is averaging 6.7 points per game this season.

Check back soon for further details and in depth analysis.

Tags: Earl Clark Hedo Turkoglu Jason Richardson Marcin Gortat Mickael Pietrus Orlando Magic Phoenix Suns Vince Carter

  • adobbs

    Not a great move, but a good move. I would rather have just traded Hedo for Gortat, but it looks like Orlando wanted more. In response, Suns did a good job of sweetening the deal by dumping Clark, grabbing a first rounder, and grabbing some cash. For all the naysayers, VC is pretty similar to Jrich overall, and he may be an even more attractive trade piece this spring. Only fools should be upset that we were going to have a great season or do anything beyond a first round victory in the playoffs if that. I don’t really even care if this hurts the Suns in the short term, they needed to make a move like this to prepare for next year and the following years when we lose Nash and Hill.

  • PHXsunsFanInLA

    I’m going to miss jason richardson the most

  • CornFlakes

    My immediate concern is why the heck we dealt for VC since he’s so injury prone, but then I remembered that our health team regularly dabbles in magic to heal any player that puts on a Suns uniform. Still, VC is old and washed-up; I prefer J-Rich to VC any day of the week. Gortat is a great trade, but he’ll more than likely just come off the bench. The Magic gained big time with this trade, though now the depth of the frontcourt suffers. We still need a legitimate PF; this probably won’t be the only trade the Suns make this season.

  • Navkarn

    I really like this trade … the only thing that worries me is injuries. we just acquired pietrus who is CURRENTLY out with a knee injury and carter has already missed games earlier this season due to smaller injuries. when healthy, this trade really helps especially in the big man department with gortat … but if any of these guys, mainly carter and pietrus reaggravate an injury, we can kiss any potential success in this season goodbye. Lets hope for the best, overall i love this trade! best of luck to jrich, he will be missed!

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  • Ryan

    I’m not sure how I feel about this right now. I love the gortat trade for some size, defense, and rebounding. I’m not sure if VC will replace what JRich brought but JRich has been really inconsistent this season, he is way to dependant on Nash but VC can at least make his own shot.

    I like that fact that Turk won’t waste space and ball handling for Goran and Nash but with him gone and Nash’s injury we have 1 guard to run the team and Goran can’t play 48 minutes. We have all seen what its like with no Nash, hill and Dudley can’t cut it.

    So the Turk deal didn’t work out so now we shipped LB away (a good bench player and 6th man) for a failed experiment.

  • adobbs

    Hedo was Sarver’s mistake. This is about as good a fix as you can realistically hope for. Hedo’s contract and play had the potential to ruin this team for several years since we know Suns aren’t working with an unlimited budget. This will be a great move if we can turn vince carter and another piece on our team (such as dudley or jchill) into a trade for a legit 4 for and prospect at the 2 spot. I am confident this trade is meant to help set up a trade for a legit 4 such as Jason Thompson with the Kings. I would have loved for the suns to somehow snag Bass and Gortat, but Orlando isn’t that dumb.

  • Basketball Bloke

    I love this trade for the Suns. Losing Richardson hurts, but Carter will be just fine as a replacement. Losing Turkoglu doesn’t hurt at all, and Marcin Gortat is a huge plus. Right now, the only guy who can finish a pick and roll is Warrick, who weighs about 190lb. Gortat is the 7’2″ polish hammer. He’ll make the Suns a lot better inside. More analysis:

  • adobbs

    As far as Gortat, I expect him to split time with Lopez pretty evenly at center. That means when Lopez is healthy we get a full 48-minutes of quality play at the center. That’s something I’ve never seen as a Suns fan, and I look forward to it.

    I actually appreciated how Shaq played in our system–he just wasn’t a good fit with Stoudemire. Also, that season we missed the playoffs, wasn’t Stoudemire out for a significant part of the season?

    There are some people out there worried that means we lose Steve Nash. As a Nash fan, I would love to see him contend for a championship. Hell, if he went to NY I’d have another NBA team to root for while I watch the Suns make the transition to post-Nash. I am forever heartbroken that a Nash-led Suns never won a championship and never will, especially in those tough playoff losses. But, they never even made it to the Finals, and personally I’d rather lose in the WCF and stay convinced they should have won a championship than be convinced by a Finals loss that they weren’t good enough.

  • Ryan

    I would like to point out how healthy Shaq and Hill have been since coming to Phoenix. I’m not to worried about the current injuries to the Mikeal and VC, once their healthy they will stay healthy with our training staff.

  • Mike Meez

    I don’t mind making trades that will help in the long-term, I just don’t see how this does that. The J-Rich for Vince Carter part of the trade is essentially a wash in terms of contract and salary. They’re both playing in the last years of their contracts. Vince makes about $3 million more so Orlando threw that in to make it equal. The difference: Orlando gets J-Rich, who’s been playing like one of the best 2 guards in the league this season, for a playoff run while we’re stuck with Vince for the remainder of the season.

    I have no problem, though, with the above if we got something good. It wasn’t a big deal getting rid of Earl Clark (even though I’m happy we did) because his contract runs out this season. And he was only earning $2 mil. We did unload Hedo’s contract which was good considering that he wasn’t fitting in well at all. However, we’re taking on Marcin Gortat’s contract which runs for this season plus 3 and Pietrus which is this year and then a player option next year. So overall, we’re only saving about $5 million.

    And I’m not sure we’re improving much talent-wise. Maybe Gortat will get his chance to shine here in Phoenix where he doesn’t have to back up a star center like Howard, but I don’t see it. I just don’t think he’s a long-term answer at the center position. I hope I’m wrong.

    Then we get a 1st round pick for 2011 draft. But it’s Orlando’s pick so it’ll be in the mid to late 20s most likely because Orlando will probably finish in the top 5 or just outside.

    Bottom line: I don’t think we’re improving much. At least we’re getting rid of Hedo’s contract, but we were stupid enough to take that on just a few months ago.

    Here’s to rebuilding!

  • adobbs

    Gortat is much more important if Lopez goes down, and given how Lopez started the year, he could prove to be a better player. Lopez’s back problem will only get worse playing in the NBA. It’s not a fixable health issue, and you can’t even do much to mitigate it without quitting sports entirely.

    I do miss JRich and his playoff performance last year. He did get us to the WCF. However, his blown box out vs LA cost us the series, and that’s the play I’ll remember him most for. We can replace his scoring easily.


    WOW.. just wow.
    the suns have made the most disapointing choices the last couple years. It all started with shack for shaun. It realy makes me appreciate our 05-06 roster with well rounded role players like bell Quentin Richardson and Joe Johnson and then the be highlighted with our big 3 stodimire marion and nash and mike d as coach haha. I miss those days for sure what a boaring team they are now.

  • Mike Meez

    @adobbs, yeah the Suns missed the playoffs that year only by a game or two and Amar’e missed the last half of the season with that eye injury.

    People are always excited about Gortat. I’ve heard talk about him for the last couple years, but I’m not that impressed. I guess his numbers are pretty good considering his limited playing time. I don’t know, maybe I just haven’t seen enough.

    I guess one way to look at it is that even if Gortat doesn’t work out, it’s better than having an old, washed-up Hedo for more money. And if Gortat thrives in Phoenix, it will be a great long-term deal for a rebuilding Suns team.

    Now, will Nash be traded? It kinda seems like it since this trade was designed for long-term development while sacrificing short-term talent (J-Rich). But where would Nash go? Of the contending teams, I think the Lakers could use him the most but 1) that would kill me to see Steve in a Fakers jersey and 2) I don’t think they have anything we’d want anyway (maybe Lamar Odom, but he’s too old for a rebuilding project). I always thought Orlando since Jameer Nelson is so streaky and injury-prone but I guess that would’ve happened in this trade if it was going to happen at all. Miami? That could be interesting, but again, what could they give us that we want. If they still had Beasely we could talk. Boston already has Rajon Rondo with Nate Robinson and Delonte West as backups so they’re set at the 1. Dallas, maybe? Nash for Rodrigue Beaubois, Jason Terry, some cash/draft picks? I think there’s something there. Oklahoma City? I don’t know how that would work with Russell Westbrook developing.

    Too many good point guards in the league right now. It’ll be hard to find Nash a good home for a finals run. If we can’t I’m more than happy to have him play out his career in a Suns uniform.

  • adobbs

    Yeah, I don’t think trading Nash is likely, unless Suns get offered a ridiculous and unexpected deal that gives the Suns a great young PG. As someone who wants to be a fan of a Nash team that wins a championship, I’d love to see Steve in Miami, but not at the expense of a crap deal. Nash should stay with the Suns, and he will continue to play great when he’s healthy.

    It’s unknown how Gortat will fare, but from what I can see he is a solid, consistent center with some agility and no big injury issues. Reading some other comments on other sites, it seems like Pietrus is a pretty good pick up as well. He’s a proven defender with a decent three point shot, which means he may be able to play a role similar to Raja Bell.

    If nothing else, I had lost interest in the Suns this year, and now I have a reason to watch again–not because I think they will be great, but it will be fun to see them work in the new pieces. I love JRich, but I was never as attached to him as I was to Amare, Bell, and Marion.

  • porkpiehat

    Hi, just popping in…Gortat is a huge upgrade over Lopez, you guys are looking at the forest from the trees. Pietrus is also an improvement of Turkoglu, he can spot up, defend AND he cares. Way to go , Suns. They should definitely make the playoffs now, and get promptly bounced by the Lakers.

  • Navkarn

    hahaha porkpie you couldnt have said it any better. very realistic look at it :)

  • Abhijit Bordia

    I am happy with the trade. Pietrus is an awesome defender, explosive and a effective 3 point shooter. Gortat is great and Vince can create his own shot unlike J-rich. Great Move Suns and help Steve reach his ultimate goal.

  • BK

    BAHAHAHAHA LOL!!! BAck in July I posted this comment for a story titled “Mr. fourth Quarter” And nobody listened.

    “As a Rptors fan I was excited about Turk coming to T.O. last year. I was excited for the same reasons some suns fans are excited now. Beacause he hit alot of great shots in the play-offs 2 years ago now. After watching him last season it’s obvious that play-off run was an anomaly. He showed up in Toronto fat and horribly out of shape. At no point during the season did he get into shape. He didn’t hit one big shot all year at any point of any game. He was slow,lazy, and completly worthless. The icing on the cake was when he didn’t show up for a game because he said he was sick. Then he got caught drinking at a night club later that night. He was suspended one game by the Raps. and whined ad complained because his employer treated him like an adult and held hm accountable for his actions. This guy is a spoiled, lazy, egotistcal, bum who had one good play-off run and has been passed around the league his entire career. I’ll take Barbosa ANY DAY over Hedon’t.”

    Thanks for Barbosa, He’s working out great in T.O.

  • Al

    Believe it or not…Nash to the Lakers for Odom would be the best chance fofr Nash to win a championship. Lakers can easily replace Odom’s spot with Caracter or EBanks. I think Phoenix is going to see how the new team will play for 2 month. If the team sucks and stays at .500 by the end of January, then Phoenix will start to shop Nash to title contenders with Miami and Lakers at the top of the list.

  • Mike Meez

    Obviously Hedo didn’t work out but Toronto is 10-17…sooo yeah, enjoy.

  • Al

    Lamar Odom, Steve Blake, and Round pick for Steve Nash (maybe Hill) before February deadline…Calling it.

  • Mike Meez

    Nash to L.A. or Miami would definitely give Nash a good shot at winning a championship but the Suns aren’t going to give Nash away for nothing. I don’t think Miami has anything Suns would be interested in. MAYBE if they sent us Mario Chalmers, multiple drafts picks or something like that it could work but I doubt it. And L.A. has literally nothing to give us. Odom is a great player but it would make no sense taking a guy like that at the end of his career if you’re going to blow up and rebuild.

  • Mike Meez

    @Al If Suns did that trade, I’d be infuriated. More so than at any other trade they’ve ever done. Yes, even more than the Shaq trade.

  • D.13

    Doesn’t Carters contract run for 2 more years? Suns traded an expiring contract for a contract thats going to expire 2 years from now?

  • Ryan

    The Lakers are not trading Odom for Steve Nash, especially with Bynum’s never-ending series of injuries. He is not as easily replaced as some have implied. Never mind the fact that Steve would be relegated to a spot-up shooter in the Laker’s offense, and he doesn’t play any defense.

  • Ryan

    And no, I am not a Lakers fan.

  • Mike Meez

    @ D.1

  • Mike Meez

    @ D.1, according to HoopsHype, there is a team option on Carter for next year so and no way the Suns exercise that option so essentially his contract is up after this season.

  • Nashty

    Nash to the Knicks for Felton and Anthony Randolph

  • BK

    @ Mike Meez
    I will enjoy Barbosa. And I wouldn’t brag about wins and losses. whats the suns record again 12 – 13. Enjoy Vince Carter another arrogant, extremely lazy, worthless over the hill Raptors cast away. If you thought Hedon’t wouldn’t put in effort you haven’t seen anything yet.

  • Fauxnix

    co-sign Nashty’s comment: Nash to the Knicks is a real possibility. But it’s a similar dilemma for NYC as with ‘Melo — do they break up what’s working right now to upgrade? Plus Nash doesn’t have many years left (3 tops) so I’m sure they’d be hesitant to pull that trigger. Still hoping Suns turn around and do another deal with Orlando to send Nash there.

  • Mike L

    porkpiehat you nailed it. You people have no idea how good an addition Gortat is. Acquiring him is even better than getting rid of Hedon’t. And while I do think he’ll initially back up Lopez, RoLo’s back isn’t getting better any time soon. By the time Gortat is used to the system, he’ll either start at the 4 with Rolo at the 5, or Rolo will be hurt and Gortat will be starting for good.

    Something makes me think the Suns aren’t dealing, though. I see a move coming for a young 4 … Josh Smith or A Randolph.

  • Zak

    I like this trade. Not for this season but for the future. I was one of those who was hopeful that Turkoglu would thrive in Phoenix but he didn’t so I’m very glad that Orlando wanted him back. I hate loosing Richardson but he’s always been somewhat inconsistent so I’m not exactly heartbroken over it. Only $4 mil of Carter’s contract is guaranteed next year so buying him out may be an option if need be. Getting rid of Clark means nothing. The Suns still need a real PF but getting Gortat will at least allow Frye to play the 4 spot where he’s more suited than trying to fill in at the C-spot where he’s always over matched. Sometime before the end of the season I see the Suns making a play for a true PF and then either trading Carter during the off season or just buying out his contract and trying to bring in another SG. And Childress may yet work himself into a job when his finger injury heals.

  • Keir

    I dunno what Miochael Schwartz has been smoking but calling Vince Carter “oft-injured”, “chemistry killer” and “chucker” in his two articiles is pretty amazing. Vince may not be being playing as well as he has but he is shooting a good % and while he has had some injuries in his career he has had long periods injury free and the only thing I’ve heard about his attitude that is bad is from his closing days in Toronto many years ago.

  • lewis

    be real, anyone who has followed the nba at all over the last 10 years knows you do not want vince on your team!!!!! This deal was about getting a quality big and getting rid of turk. I call it a win due to the fact we got rid of a worthless player and a large contract. Who the hell runs this team, why would you bring in a player like turk and childress, for cripes sakes we already had like 3 average 3 men. I sometimes wonder if i could run an nba team…..

  • PJ

    Yea vince is good when he cares… unfortunately thats about 20% of the time.

    happy about gortat though

  • Clipper

    This is clearly a rebuilding move and although it hurts to see Jrich go this is good for the Suns moving forward. Getting rid of Hedo`s contract (which would have haunted the Suns for years) coupled with Carter`s expiring contract will provide the Suns with some needed financial flexibility. It`s definitely going to be interesting to see what happens with Nash and Hill moving forward. Honestly, I don`t see where Nash could go and play for a contender at this point. I`ve seen people on the board mention the Lakers but I don`t see that happening, Fisher is no slouch and he`s got the rings to prove it.

  • Keir

    I’ve been following the NBA for a lot more than 10 years and I know ignorant hating when I read it. Vince took Toronto to the play offs before things went bad and he was traded to the Nets. Vince played great for Nets and carried them many times. Still haters gonna hate – can’t stop that.

  • Finley

    This is a sign Nash will be dealt sooner than later, I think.

  • KJ Loyalist

    SOMEBODY IN THE HEAVENS LOVES ME AND LOVES US, (Even though we will feel the wrath of David Stern at some point in the near future – again).

    Looking at this trade from a business / chemistry point of view, I give it a B. Not terrible, not excellent, but very good.

    Looking at this trade strictly on the court, A from me. I love it.

    TERRIBLE – HORRIBLE – A CRIME ON THE COURT, (yes I really hated him on this team). Even when the roster was bent to give him the ball where he likes it most he could not do anything. So to see him gone is great.

    Another great talent that will probably go to Orlando and / or another team after that and explode. That is what happens. Those ghosts of Michael Finley, Steve Nash, Rondo, (sort of? Nah I just tossed that in there) – but the point is there.

    He wasn’t giving this team anything though and as I wrote a few weeks ago, he was only getting some run to let people see he does have some skill so that he can become a sweetener in a trade deal.

    J Rich:
    I’ll thank him for his services, because he was a beast for most of his time here. Seriously though, PHX has been shopping him since last season and we all knew that if Nash wasn’t going somewhere with Hedo, it’d have to be J Rich.

    Bright side:
    This trade will kind of send all of our players back to the roles that they are supposed to / used to having from last year, starters and bench mob.

    The Warlocks have already kidnapped Vince Carter’s soul. He’ll be back wearing Pumas and dunking from the 3 point line by March. Even if he goes down, (even if he doesn’t), this will allow Dragon!!! to go back into his Joe Johnson circa SSOL role where you will see him a ton at the 2 and then slide into the point when Nash sits.

    Pietrus with the second unit, (or time with the first), is far more deadly on paper than Hedo ever was because he can bring that bench mob mentality while also playing the role this team needs him to play. He’s been in a similar system before. Also, he’s not Hedo Turkoglu, so that’s a win / win.

    As far as Gortat goes, we got another big so I really don’t want to hear about how this team doesn’t have enough size. They have plenty of size now and Gentry has to get them all worked out. Enough of them bang and enough of them have some touch, so no reason not to have a combination of two of them on the court at all times.

    Steve Nash:
    Not going to Orlando – kill that.

    Not going to Los Angeles – not just for Lamar Kardashian. It will take more than “The Goods” for Phoenix to do that.

    Not going to New York – as long as they’re trying to get Melo. They just don’t have enough to give back for both of them, and I think NY wants Melo far more at this point.

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