The fact of the matter (in regards to so called trading of J-Rich)

Frankly, all this talk of trading Richardson for 'something better' or for a PF is dumb.  Childress is not ready to be a starting SG in the NBA.  Not after being in Greece for 2 years.  If I was a high school freshman that dominated the junior high "small school" league for two years, I could not be expected to make the jump to starting on a 5A team in that first year.  He's how the Suns sit for next year ('11-'12):


PG - Nash/Dragic (I think they'll split the starting job)

SG - Childress (he got a decent size and length contract to take over as a starter next year)

SF - Turk

PF - Frye/Warrick (dependent upon this years time and how they do in next years training camp)

C - Lopez



PG - Nash/Dragic and someone like Scotty Reynolds who wows in Summer/TC

SG - someone like Corey Brewer, DeSean Stephenson, Willie Green, Caron Butler or even J-Rich (if he's willing to sign for less and lose starting role to a youthful Childress) as well as a1st round draft pick (if we have one)

SF - Dudley (if he doesn't cost too too much) or maybe Mikeal Petrus, if Dudley prices himself out.  They will also sign a veteran reserve like Tashaun Prince, Mike Dunleavy, or Jared Jeffries.  I would also expect a 2nd Round pick for this position (if we have one).

PF - Frye/Warrick and either Clark or Gani Lawal

C - A veteren defensive Center like Nick Collison or Samuel Dalambert would be great if they could be had at the right price, but we may have to settle for a banger like Pryzbilla, Gadzuric, or Krstic.  Spencer Hawes might not be a bad one to look at if his price is low enough, but his youth may push his price too high.


SF - I believe this will be Hill's last season.  I think he'll retire.  He's not a great 'off the bench' player.  So if he's ok with playing 4 minutes and the Turk coming in for extended time, then Dudz is either expendable or he plays even less.  I just don't see this as viable.  Having Turk start at SF gives good hands, acceptable hard working defense, a decent jumper, an ok outside threat, a skilled passer, and solid play from a 3 position.  I love Grant Hill's self sacrifice.  I love it.  But he can't offer all of those things.  Turk is a 3, not a 4.  (Yes, I do worry about him trying to keep up with LBJ and Durant, but I think his defensive positioning ability and Lopez's backside help will swing it to a more balanced defensive system).

PF - Frye/Warrick/Clark/Lawal will all be competing this year for next years starting PF spot.  Frye should not be playing the 5.  Not heavy enough, not athletic enough, not efficient enough.  He doesn't crash the boards.  But he doesn't need to if he plays the 4 with a board crashing 3 (Dudley) and 5 (hopefully Collison).  I like Frye off the bench.  He seems to do better in that role.  So that means Warrick really needs to prove himself (or Lawal needs to be amazing).  Either way, I don't know if Clark is really going to work.  Yes, he needs to be allowed room to grow, but the leash can only be so long right?

C - Lopez...need I say more?  I think he can be a 20/12 guy in 2 years.  I also think that he could be a 20/15 guy for 1 or 2 years (maybe not in a row) if he can get his back fixed the right way.  Look, I don't know if he'll be Patrick Ewing, but he doesn't need to be HOF quality to succeed.  With PGs like Nash and Dragic (who can pass just as well as John Starks), Lopez has a chance at being a high scoring center.  He has very soft hands for a big and can hit jumpers with ease.  He needs to work his low post moves a little more this year.  He took steps, not he needs to finish them.  He has excellent rebounding position at times, but sometimes stays too low and jumpers can get a ball from him.  As for a backup, we just need someone like Amundson but a little bigger stronger.  Collison is the guy.  He hustles, he defends, he can finish around the rim, he has a VERY short range jumper, and has great leadership.  Dalambert is a nice shot blocker, but has little else.  His post moves are 3rd rate, not 2nd and he tends to be lackadaisical.  The Suns have prided themselves on having a hustle team.  I don't know if Dalambert could fit.  If not Collison, go for another 4 who plays with high energy and slightly outside their body like Amundson.  But also bring in a Kurt Thomas type.

PG - Nash and Dragic; Dragic and Nash.  And some other person...really now, did you want further explination?

SG - Maybe the hardest to expand upon.  But maybe the easiest.  It appears to me that JRich is gone next year.  Understandably.  He makes quite a bit of money.  Childress is the heir apparent.  Ok, I'm fine with that.  Great length, great athleticism, good intelligence, good skill set, decent defense, room to grow.  All the makings of a great player in the Suns system.  I'm very content with him being the starting SG, even if JRich was to sign a barebones contract.  So we need a backup.  If you look at your reserve team, you appear to need a larger size 2 guard who has a slasher mentality.  You have outside shooters in Dudley and Frye, you have low post in "Collison," and you have a solid PG who can shoot or slash in either Nash or Dragic.  So you need an above average defender who is solid from anywhere inside the arc.  DeSean Stevenson fits that role and so does Corey Brewer.  Arron Affalo would be a good choice if you need to replace the shooter in Dudley but keep size and speed.

So, why would you want to trade JRich?  You need his expiring contract to lock up Dragic (which he should probably get a 6 year deal in the neighborhood of 5-8 million per year), sign a 2nd tier SG, Jared Dudley, and a defending low post for your 2nd unit.  The Suns will have somewhere in the neighborhood of $18M-22M.  Probably closer to $18M.  So if you wipe out $7.25 for Dragic, you then have $10.75 for 3 other positions, not to mention your draft picks.  It's doable, but tight.  But I also think it would provide the Suns with a solid core, and some very nice added pieces to make a deep run.

So let's stop talking about trading JRich because we need his contract to expire.

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