"The trade didn't catch me off guard at all. I knew when they wouldn't talk about an extension that I wasn't going to be there the whole season,'' Richardson said before the Magic played the San Antonio Spurs. "They wouldn't even sit down and talk to us. I kind of figured when they were dodging calls from my agent, something was going to happen.''
Richardson, who is making $14 million this season, was pushing hard for the extension in Phoenix, preferring to avoid free agency this summer. He was riding a strong playoff performance last spring and a fast start this season, knowing his stock would never be higher.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Such is life with the Phoenix Suns and Robert Sarver.
Sarver is the thrifty owner of the Suns. And he’s become even more of an Uncle Scrooge since his banking and real estate holding were decimated by the economic meltdown.
Most of the Suns’ movable big tickets –like Richardson’s expiring $14 million contract – get moved.
Richardson, despite being the team’s leading scorer, wasn’t getting re-signed. Especially since the trade with Orlando allowed the club to escape the final three years and $35 million remaining on Hedo Turkoglu’s pact.
Credit the Suns, who were dealing from a position of weakness, for getting back value from Orlando. For instance, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus are talented two-way players.
Gortat and second-year post Robin Lopez will form a nice one-two punch in the middle, while Pietrus and veteran Grant Hill give the Suns a pair of shutdown swings.
It’s no surprise Richardson was traded. It’s a surprise the Suns got so much for him.
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