When the Phoenix Suns lost to the eventual champions San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals most attributed that too the Suns lack of defense. Jerry Colangelo the teams president admitted to reporters that he was going to try and add some defensive player to the Suns; on draft day he did. The Suns traded Quentin Richardson, and Nate Robinson for Kurt Thomas and Dijon Thompson. Then once free agency began in August the team lured former Jazz guard Raja Bell to them. Then traded guard Joe Johnson to the Hawks for Boris Diaw. They also traded seldom used center Jake Voskul to the Bobcats for picks, and lost center Steven Hunter to the 76ers. And just last week they signed aged veteran Brian Grant who had been cut by the Lakers.
At first most these moves do not seem to be very bad, but when you consider the core of the Suns team, Nash, Stoudamire, and Marion, are a run and gun bunch these moves start making a lot less sense. Kurt Thomas and Brian Grant are both old, and have had some health issues in the past, and its doubtful that either will be able to keep up with Steven Nash in the offensive set. With the trade of Voskul and the loss of Hunter this leaves the suns with only one true center; Paul Shirley. Shirley who less then 20 games last year despite not being injured is not a good insurance policy. Guard Raja Bell may be able to fill Richardsonís spot, but he isnít as a prolific scorer as Richardson and is best suited as a 6th man type role. Boris Diaw found it hard to start for a team with the worst record in the NBA, no way is he going to be able to start for a team vying for a playoff spot.
As you can see these trades donít make sense and in-fact will hinder the Suns ability to run. And with the rise of western teams like Minnesota, Utah, Golden State and both Los Angeles based teams the Suns may find themselves on the outside looking in come playoff time.