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Phoenix Suns Trade Reaction: JRich, Hedo Out -- Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat In

Well, folks, it looks like a done deal. Welcome the Polish Hammer, Marcin Gortat, along with Vince "My Knee Hurts" Carter. So long, Jason Richardson -- you've been fantastic. Hedo, we hardly got to know you and don't fully blame you for not fitting on this team.

Earl Clark will hopefully get to try and do something in Orlando (doubt it) and there's nothing bad at all to say about Mickael Pietrus except he plays the same position as Vince Carter, Josh Childress, Grant Hill and Jared Dudley. So you know ... still have five guys for two positions. Problem deferred.

My personal reaction is not positive. My first concern is what this means for Steve Nash, you can read more about that here:

Phoenix Suns Rumored Deal For Vince Carter And Marcin Gortat Smells Like Trouble For Nash - SB Nation Arizona
The real question now, assuming this deal happens as reported, is what if anything this means for Nash and possibility of moving him. With the team hovering around .500 and seeing yet another teammate get moved, you can easily envision a frustrated Steve asking to be dealt. Certainly a late first round pick and some cash isn't going to placate Nash.

Essentially, the Suns are sacrificing this season to get Marcin Gortat and perhaps one more year of Mickael Pietrus along with a Orlando's first round pick which will be in the mid-to-late 20's.

How's that sit with you, Suns fans?

Financially, this deal is about a wash.

The Suns are taking back about $60.1m in total contracts and giving up about $54.1 but with the $3m cash and last 1st round pick that makes it even. Here's the details:

  • Gortat: $6.3m this year with increases up to $7.7m in 2013/14 with that final year being a play option. Total guaranteed including final year is $28.1m
  • Pietrus: $5.3m this year with player option for same next season. Total guaranteed is $10.6m
  • Carter: $17.5m this year with next year at $18.3m but only $4m of that is guaranteed so total obligation is $21.5m
  • JRich: $14.4m this year
  • Hedo: $10.2m this year with increases up to $12m in 2013/14 but only $6m of that final year is guaranteed so total obligation is $39m.
  • Clark: $1.8m this year
[Note by Seth Pollack, 12/18/10 1:35 PM MST ]

This is the third major in-season trade the Suns have made in the past four years. Let's review:

January 08: Shaq for Marion and Banks. As expected that proved to be a disaster as the Suns didn't get out of the first round that year and didn't make the playoffs the next. Shaq never made sense for the Suns but they were enthralled with his legend and the idea of having a dominant big so they made the deal in the middle of the season instead of playing out the Amare/Nash/Marion/Hill string and then dealing Shawn.

December 08: Bell and Diaw for Dudley and JRich. This deal turned out for the best but was a panic move at the time to try and fix what turned out to be a coaching problem (Terry Porter). The Suns still didn't make the playoffs this season but of course they also lost Amare for the end part of the season.

December 10: We'll have to wait and see how this one plays out. It could be a good long term deal with the addition of Gortat being the key but I don't think it was worth sacrificing this season and risk the chemistry issues that come with Vince Carter.

This team wasn't playing well but mostly didn't have a healthy Robin Lopez and had one of the harder schedules in the league. Being around .500 headed into January still left plenty of time for a strong finish. If it didn't work that was on the players. Now Nash has a perfectly legit reason to blame the front office and has to try and learn how to play with yet another ball-dominant scorer who's not exactly known as a "team" guy.

The addition of Gortat makes the Suns better defensively and a better rebounding team. No question. But does sacrificing the rest of this season and Nash's "spirit" make it worth it? They could have played out this year and gone after the pieces they needed up front this summer (or whenever the NBA starts playing again).

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