Suns Continue Reshaping the Roster Sans Amare

Steve O Speak

The Phoenix Suns have moved on from Amare Stoudemire and are doing a good job of reshaping their roster to remain competitive in the Western Conference. Their first moves in signing Hakim Warrick and resigning Channing Frye assured them they wouldn’t be left in the cold when Amare left. Then by working out a sign and trade deal with the Knicks, gave the Suns the trade exception needed to continue to add players to their roster. That trade exception allowed Phoenix to facilitate a pair of deals today that bring Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress to the roster while giving up Leandro Barbosa (and a 2nd round pick).

While some may question the deals I think they are both good fits for the Phoenix offense. Turkoglu struggled with the Raptors, but will now be a part of a better team with an elite point guard that can set him up. His versatility to give minutes from the 2-4, make him very valuable on a Suns team that likes to get out and run. Turkoglu might not fill Amare’s shoes himself, but between him and Warrick I don’t think the Suns will miss much. And while Turkoglu doesn’t have the best contract in the world it is 40% of what the Suns would have had to pay Amare Stoudemire. Not to mention that Turkoglu is giving up some guaranteed money in the final year of the deal, making him easier to trade/waive if he doesn’t age well. And while the Suns did have to give up Barbosa to add Turkoglu, its not a horrible deal. Phoenix would have to pay Barbosa $15 million over the next two years, and now will only increase that an extra $5+ million for Turkoglu (he still has two years after that). That’s not bad considering Barbosa is extremely redundant on the Suns and Turkoglu should be getting at least 25 min a game. Turkoglu can be a good 3rd option on the Suns, and is known for coming through in the clutch.

As for the other player the Suns acquired, Josh Childress, Phoenix got a solid guard/forward who will help fill some of Barbosa’s role while at the same time deepening their depth at SF as well. Childress isn’t a star, but with the Suns he won’t have to be. He is a solid scorer, though not much of a three point shooter. He is long and is a pretty decent defender. Given his versatility he should see 20 minutes a night and could see more given the injury histories of Jason Richardson and Grant Hill. Childress is a great insurance policy and at 27 years old he still has some of his best basketball ahead of him.

Overall the Suns knew they weren’t able to replace Amare Stoudemire with one player, so they did a solid job of building the deepest roster in the NBA. Their second unit of Goran Dragic, Josh Childress, Jared Dudley, Hakim Warrick and Channing Frye is better than most team’s first units. Also the Suns have excellent lineup composition, since everyone of their backups can handle at least two positions. The Suns will be the freshest team on the floor and can absorb any short term injury, but it will remain to be seen if their team first aspect can compete with the star laden teams at the top of the conference.

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