Reports: Turkoglu, Childress to Suns
The Arizona Republic reported on its website Sunday night that the Suns are acquiring Toronto's Hedo Turkoglu and former Atlanta swingman Josh Childress in separate transactions that will dramatically change the look of a team that made a surprising run to last season's Western Conference finals.
The Suns, according to The Toronto Star, have agreed to send guard Leandro Barbosa to the Raptors for Turkoglu, who badly wants a move after a rough first season with Toronto. The Raptors then plan to use the trade exception it created in their Chris Bosh sign-and-trade deal with Miami to acquire Boris Diaw Tyson Chandler from Charlotte, with guard Jose Calderon and forward Reggie Evans heading to the Bobcats. The report said the deal is pending league approval.
Raptors president of basketball operatons Bryan Colangelo will be reunited with Barbosa and Diaw from his days in Phoenix.
In the second deal, Phoenix will acquire Childress in a sign-and-trade with the Hawks, who still hold Childress' rights after the restricted free agent spent the last two seasons in Greece. The Republic reported that Childress has agreed to a five-year, $34 million contract with the Suns, who will use a portion of the trade exception created in Friday's Stoudemire sign-and-trade with New York to absorb Childress' contract.
The Hawks, who had no financial flexibility to even consider matching offers to Childress after signing Joe Johnson to a six-year deal worth nearly $120 million, will get a 2012 second-round pick from Phoenix to complete the transaction.
The moves are intriguing for a variety of reasons, starting with the fact that Turkoglu will serve as a very different starting power forward than Stoudemire, with ballhandling ability that could potentially lessen the wear-and-tear absorbed by Steve Nash in running the Suns' offense.
Another reason: Turkoglu is a current client and Childress is a former client of longtime player-agent Lon Babby, who appears destined to replace Steve Kerr as the Suns' new head of basketball operations.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported Saturday that Suns owner Robert Sarver -- increasingly interested in succeeding Kerr with a revamped structure that includes non-traditional personnel voices as well as traditional basketball executives -- is giving Babby strong consideration to lead the Suns' revamped basketball department.
Sources close to the situation told Stein on Sunday that Babby's hiring has been agreed to in principle, with more hires to come to assist him.
Turkoglu wanted out of Toronto following a miserable debut season. It was the first year of a five-year, $53 million contract that Turkoglu received last summer after initially telling the Portland Trail Blazers that he'd sign with them.
The 10-year NBA veteran averaged 11.3 points last season on 40.9 percent shooting, his lowest scoring average and shooting percentage in six years. As recently as the 2007-08 season, Turkoglu won the NBA's Most Improved Player award by averaging 19.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists with Orlando, then helped the Magic reach the NBA Finals in 2009 by averaging 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists.
According to the Republic, Turkoglu is waiving roughly $5 million of a trade bonus in his contract and reducing the guaranteed money in the final season -- which was worth $12 million in 2013-14 -- to facilitate his move to the Suns.
Childress had an NBA out in his contract with Greek power Olympiacos that he had to exercise by Thursday if he wanted to return to the States for next season. He signed a three-year, $20 million deal with the Greek team in 2008.
Drafted No. 6 overall in 2004, Childress averaged 11.1 points over four seasons with Atlanta, shooting 52.2 percent from the field and 36 percent on 3-pointers.
If Turkoglu starts, another recent Suns acquisition -- free-agent signee Hakim Warrick -- would likely join Childress, Channing Frye, Jared Dudley and Goran Dragic on Phoenix's second unit. In addition to Barbosa's departure, Phoenix is also expected to lose popular forward Louis Amundson this summer.
Chandler wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Monday night that his agent, Jeff Schwartz, informed him that he's being traded. A Bobcats spokesman said no deal is complete, and general manager Rod Higgins didn't return messages.
Calderon would give Charlotte a starting point guard after Raymond Felton signed with the Knicks. Dumping Chandler's $12.7 million salary would give owner Michael Jordan's team flexibility to make future moves.
"Yes I was told that I am being traded," Chandler wrote. "To be honest I don't have much to say now except I'm excited about the upcoming season. I feel great and I know it will be a good one."
The speedy Barbosa would help the Raptors move to a more uptempo offense without Bosh.
Chandler had an injury-plagued season in Charlotte after being acquired from New Orleans for Emeka Okafor last summer. He decided not to opt out of the final year of his contract last month and become a free agent.
"I'm not sure what other deals they have going on," Chandler said of the Raptors. "But I feel like anywhere I go healthy I'll fit in."
Charlotte deemed Diaw, due $18 million over the next two seasons, expendable after giving Tyrus Thomas a five-year, $40 million deal. Thomas, who signed the contract on Monday amid rumblings of the trade, is expected to replace Diaw in the starting power forward spot.
Calderon, who averaged 10.3 points and 5.9 assists last season, has been criticized in the past for his defense, an area the demanding Brown stresses. He's also still due about $30 million over the next three seasons.
Evans, due $5 million next season, would give the Bobcats more depth up front.
Late Monday night, Yahoo! Sports reported that the sudden reluctance of Jordan has thrust the proposed Toronto-Charlotte trade into jeopardy. According to sources, Jordan has been hesitant to trade Chandler.
The trade isn't dead, the sources told Yahoo, but the two sides will talk again on Tuesday morning and the Raptors will try to push the deal through to completion.
Information from ESPN.com Marc Stein and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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