The Suns recently shipped Boris Diaw and Raja Bell to Charlotte in a deal that had many scractching their heads. From the venerable Alan Hahn, though, we get a little idea why that trade might have gone down.
A person with knowledge of the Suns-Bobcats trade said the deal was accomplished in time to allow both players to be trade-eligible by the deadline. NBA rules say traded players cannot be moved again for 60 days. The deal was done Dec. 10, which means they can be traded again Feb. 9.
Another source has said the Bobcats have maintained interest in Eddy Curry, who has yet to play this season because of a bone bruise in his left knee. The Knicks - who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday - could flip Curry for Diaw, who are close in salary. Diaw's deal goes a year longer than Curry's, but it would save the Knicks $2.2 million in cap space for 2010.
Bell makes $5 million this season and the Knicks do not have a reasonable match - unless the Bobcats are interested in sending another player (say, Sean May's $2.6-million expiring contract) to match Malik Rose's $7.6-million expiring deal.
What do we think of this, kids? I've never been a huge Diaw fan, but he's a D'Antoni favorite and he'd be another relatively big body to put on the floor (less Jared Jeffries!). His contract is pretty lengthy, though, and that has to be considered, even if he's an improvement over Curry. In the forthcoming summer of LeBron/Wade/Douby, Boris would still be on the payroll.
I don't care too much for Raja Bell either. If FreeDarko gave him a spirit animal (which they wouldn't because he's Raja Bell), it would probably be a deer tick. That said, he's another D'Antoni homeboy, and he'd contribute the defense and shooting that we were expecting from Cuttino Mobley. Oh, and his deal expires before 2010. If there was any throw in, I think I'd rather take a chance on Ryan Hollins, the big, gangly giraffe-bird of a center on Charlotte's bench. I remember one time a couple years back when he goaltended like four consecutive shots against the Knicks. We could use that kind of energy.
Why the Cats would want Curry is beyond me (unless the demon-coach is trying to relive that 23-59 season in NY), but I think I'd be pretty pleased with this deal. It saves a little change in the future, and would usefully fill a roster spot currently occupied by dead weight. Either way, it couldn't go down until February, so don't get your panties in a bunch just yet. Thoughts?
Update: Hold up a sec. I'm NOT down if David Lee's involved. Not at all.