A Spark for the Suns

You have probably heard that the Suns have continued to overhaul the roster we all knew them for, sending mainstays Raja Bell and Boris Diaw, as well as youngster Sean Singletary, to the Charlotte Bobcats.

Suns fans will likely see this as confirmation that an era has ended.

They are right. I suspect that Steve Nash's Phoenix Suns will never be title contenders, which is sad.

But that horse has been out of the barn for a while now, and this is a great trade.

In terms of how everyone is playing right now, and how much money they make, you could make the case that of the six assets changing hands -- Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley, a 2010 Charlotte second-round pick, Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, and Sean Singletary -- the Suns got the three best.

When I watch the Suns, I see a team that, more than anything, needs to be healthier, younger, and more athletic. When there is a loose ball on the floor, I almost don't want the likes of Nash, Bell, Diaw, Grant Hill, or Shaquille O'Neal to dive for it, for fear they will break on impact.

Richardson changes that. Compared to just about anybody on the Suns' roster, he's a bundle of young energy, even seven years into his NBA career. His contract is non-trivial, but the hit the Suns take there is alleviated largely by getting rid of Diaw's large deal.

Jared Dudley has shown promise, and now gets to compete in a low-stress environment, where nobody needs to save the franchise. And a Charlotte second-round pick is pretty great. It'll likely be just out of the first round, but without the hassle of a guaranteed contract.

As for the Bobcats ... what are they thinking? I don't know, but I do know that Larry Brown has a history of being enamored with veterans, and he was there when fresh-faced Raja Bell broke into the NBA with Brown's Sixers in 2001. Perhaps they can rekindle some of the old magic. But with a PER that is down around nine -- an average NBA player is at 15 -- I won't be shocked if Bell fizzles in Charlotte, too.

I don't know what Phoenix's long-term plan is. How will a team this old get back to the elite in the West? The future is hazy. But this trade? For Phoenix? It's great.