NBA: Bobcats trade leading scorer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2008

Associated Press
PHOENIX ó Phoenix traded Raja Bell and Boris Diaw to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday as part of a deal that sent Jason Richardson to the Suns.
Rookie point guard Sean Singletary also went to Charlotte, while the Suns got small forward Jared Dudley and a 2010 second-round draft pick.
“We felt like we needed to shake things up a little bit,” Suns general manager Steve Kerr said in a telephone interview. “We wanted to add a great scorer in the backcourt to give us better balance to take some of the pressure off of Steve (Nash).”
The 6-foot-6 Richardson is a two-time NBA slam dunk champion and an accomplished 3-point shooter who is averaging 18.7 points this season and 18.8 for his pro career.
Bell, a first-team all-defensive team selection in 2006-07 and second team last season, had made it clear he was not happy with the Suns’ switch from coach Mike D’Antoni’s high-flying style to the more deliberate approach of new coach Terry Porter. He was averaging 9.4 points per game this season.
The versatile Diaw had seen his playing time dwindle behind Amare Stoudemire. The Suns still liked his skills but not his salary. He earns $9 million this season and has three more years on his contract.
Dudley, a 6-foot-7 forward, started seven games for Charlotte this season.