If my main concern for the 2005 off-season was to re-sign 12th man Paul Shirley, it is obvious that I thought the Phoenix Suns should stand pat, perhaps picking up a prospect at #21
in the draft and bidding a fond farewell to Bo Outlaw.
A rumor has surfaced that the Suns are considering sending Shawn Marion, Quentin Richardson, plus #21
, to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Andrei Kirilenko, Matt Harpring, Jarron Collins, plus #6
The thinking goes that Harpring is cheaper and not a lot different than Richardson (because Phoenix didn't ask Richardson to use his inside talent), the addition of Collins means Amare Stoudemire can move out to his normal spot at power forward, while Kirilenko will provide some of Marion's scoring and rebounding plus a couple of inches. Then there is the mystery value in picking #6
instead of #21
On paper, it might be an equivalent deal, but on the court, it doesn't make sense for Phoenix. Marion is one of the truly unique players in the league, capable of leading his team in rebounding and blocked shots at 6-foot-7, and also steals and fast break points. What you see with Kirilenko is what you get, plus his recent history of serious injury. Harpring has been a great surprise, but Phoenix must remember that they signed Richardson to a big free agent contract partly on the basis of his ability to lead the league in rebounds at the off-guard position. What if Phoenix thought to move Stoudemire out to the 4, Marion to 3, Richardson to 2 with their current roster? Then the center is Jake Voskuhl -- looking up just one statistic, Voskuhl's Player Efficiency Rating was 8.7 last year to 8.0 for Collins, and that was Voskuhl's worst season since joining the Suns. Finally, it is becoming clear that the #21
pick in this year's draft won't be a whole lot worse than the #6
It's said that Phoenix could be contemplating this deal to cut some salary so they'll have some money for re-signing restricted free agent Joe Johnson -- sure, JJ continues to blossom, but his best year as a pro coincided with Steve Nash giving him the basketball, and his position is the easiest on the floor to fill. Really, the team doesn't lose so much if Richardson or Johnson were shipped off -- to restructure the top of the roster to ensure keeping a shooting guard would be unreasonable.
My prediction is that some time Monday, a Suns official will say "what a crock of shit," and everyone will remember that these trade rumors surface so that fanboys have something to do during the offseason.