So here it finally is: an actual blockbuster trade for the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Bobcats just shook up their season by trading their best scorer, shooting guard Jason Richardson, to Phoenix for big man Boris Diaw and defensive specialist Raja Bell. (Phoenix also gets Jared Dudley and a second-round pick and Charlotte gets rookie point guard Sean Singletary).
Do I like it? Yes, I do.
The Bobcats lose a lot of scoring. But they gain defense and rebounding, which are their two biggest flaws.
Look, it wasn't working this season for the Bobcats. Again. They are now 7-15 after Tuesday night's loss to New Orleans and absolutely weren't going to make the playoffs with the current configuration.
Of the Bobcats' two best players -- Richardson and forward Gerald Wallace -- I'd rather them have traded Richardson. I think Wallace does more for them than Richardson did – he’s a better defender, more athletic and more versatile.
I also think Adam Morrison and Matt Carroll can shoulder some of the scoring load that Richardson leaves behind. This team had too many jump shooters and has had for a long time, and Richardson was the only one of those bombers who could bring a decent price elsewhere.
Bell is just the sort of defense-first player -- he's made the NBA's All-Defensive squad twice -- that Larry Brown wants. He can also shoot threes very well, although he's not as pure a scorer as Richardson.
Diaw has been coming off the bench for Phoenix behind all-star Amare Stoudemire, but it's hard to imagine he won't start in front of Sean May here. (He has been described as a poor man's Rasheed Wallace, without as much talent or as many technicals, either).
Michael Jordan and Rod Higgins had to do something to put some sizzle into this Charlotte season. This isn't the best trade ever made. But it's far from the worst. And it will certainly make this season – and these Bobcats -- more interesting.
5 weeks ago