Well, this is certainly… something.
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Phoenix Suns are close to two separate deals to acquire two small forwards at opposite ends of their careers, both with sizable contracts.
First up, hailing from Turkey and loving pizza, Hedo Turkoglu and your $43 million in remaining contract, head on down! The Suns are close to sending Leandro Barbosa for Turkoglu along with using part of their remaining trade exception from the Amar’e Stoudemire sign-and-trade. Turkoglu was a pivotal part of the Orlando Magic’s run to the Finals two years ago. His pick and roll offense and work inside of the Magic’s elite defense landed him as a top free agent last summer.
And then Toronto happened. Turkoglu was an outright disaster. Unable to keep up on the floor, lost on defense, injury plagued and looking generally lazy. His contract with Toronto looked like the single worst move of the summer. The contract was an albatross around their neck, and if Colangelo can ditch it, it’s a considerably brilliant maneuver to continue with the rebuilding process. Barbosa provides speed and perimeter attack, but obviously won’t help much with Toronto’s worst-ranked defense.
For Phoenix, Turkoglu is expected to play power-forward, which would be a great idea if he had the frame, athleticism, or youth to compete at that position.
The other move?
They’re a playoff team loaded on wings. He’s a small forwarded who’s been playing in Greece for three years. Together, they’re one wacky match! Being acquired in a sign-and-trade for a second rounder with a 5-year, $30 million contract, Josh Childress!
I’d love to give you some sort of deep analysis on this series of moves, but in reality, my brain has exploded all over the wall and I’m writing this thing out of a compulsive motor function.
The Suns do need to replace Amar’e Stoudemire and find a younger replacement for Grant Hill. Childress is young, athletic, and should fit with the Suns immediately. Turkoglu is a huge gamble with minimal pay-off, but if the Suns can get top value out of him, the same way the Suns have used their regenerative powers on many veterans. The Raptors continue to rebuild, and the Hawks… well, they had to get something for Childress and there’s not much room after giving Joe Johnson King Solomon’s savings account.
The Summer of Madness continues.