Report: Suns to Acquire Hedo Turkoglu, Josh Childress
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic is reporting that Phoenix is "on the verge" of sending Leandro Barbosa to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Hedo Turkoglu. The Suns will give up part of the trade exception they received for Stoudemire to make the numbers work, since Turkoglu has four years left on his contract at about $11 million a season.
Phoenix is also working out a sign-and-trade with Atlanta to acquire the rights to Josh Childress, who played four seasons for the Hawks before leaving to play in Greece in 2008. The Suns are said to be parting with a second-round draft pick to acquire Childress, who is expected to be signed to a five-year, $30 million deal in Phoenix.
The benefits of the Turkoglu deal are difficult to envision from the Suns' standpoint, especially if they're penciling him in as their starting power forward next season. Turkoglu has always been more of a playmaker type who has done well with the ball in his hands, which is great and all -- unless Steve Nash is your point guard.
Turkoglu isn't exactly going to be working that pick and roll from the top of the circle with Nash the same way that Stoudemire could; Hedo simply doesn't have the quickness or the athleticism to do so. What Turkoglu does provide is yet another three-point shooting threat for teams to deal with, and another Phoenix option beyond Nash who can create offense for both himself and for others.
Defense and rebounding were things that Stoudemire was often criticized for during his time in Phoenix, and Turkoglu seems to be worse than Amar'e in both of those areas. He doesn't have the frame to bang down low with opposing teams' big men, and his rebounding numbers will make Stoudemire's average of almost nine per game seem gaudy by comparison.
Now, Turkoglu was a key component of the Magic's run to the Finals two seasons ago, and had played well enough in Orlando to make the Raptors believe he was worth that big contract. Turkoglu wasn't happy in Toronto, so maybe a change of scenery -- along with playing in the Suns' high-octane system -- will enable him to get back to the level he was playing at before last season. Right now, though, on the surface, it simply doesn't seem like the best fit.
Childress, on the other hand, should fit in with Phoenix's system quite nicely. He shot over 52 percent from the field during his four seasons in Atlanta, and can hit from three-point range at a better-than-decent clip. His length and athleticism should allow him to add a little something on the defensive end as well.
The Suns have already signed Hakim Warrick; with the additions of Turkoglu and Childress, that's three new players that are all likely to see some pretty substantial playing time next season ... on a team that was two games from making it to the NBA Finals. The loss of Stoudemire is devastating to what this Suns team had evolved into last season. It will be interesting to see if the pieces the Suns are adding to replace him will be the right ones to keep them competing deep into the playoffs again next year.