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Bobcats trade Jason Richardson to Suns for Boris Diaw and Raja Bell




| Dec. 10, 2008

Bobcats trade Jason Richardson to Suns for Boris Diaw and Raja BellCharlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has acquired guards Raja Bell and Sean Singletary and forward Boris Diaw from the Phoenix Suns, in exchange for guard Jason Richardson, forward Jared Dudley and a conditional second-round draft pick in 2010.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to add these new pieces to our team,” Higgins said. “While we’re giving up two key members of our rotation, we feel like Raja, Boris and Sean can help us improve our team.”

The 6-5 Bell has started all 22 games for Phoenix this season, with averages of 9.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Bell, who enters tonight’s games ranked 13th in the NBA in three-point percentage at .468 (44-94), was named to the All-Defensive Second Team last season and to the All-Defensive First Team in 2006-07. In his ninth NBA season after being undrafted out of Florida International, Bell has career averages of 10.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He has averaged double-figure scoring in each of the last five seasons and is reunited with Bobcats Head Coach Larry Brown, for whom he played with the Philadelphia 76ers from 2000-02.

The NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2005-06, the 6-8 Diaw is averaging 8.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting .567 from the field in 22 games played for Phoenix in his sixth NBA season. In 400 career NBA games, Diaw has averages of 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists. Diaw has been a member of the French national team since 2003, having competed in the European Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007, as well as the 2006 World Championships. The 21st overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Diaw has recorded five career triple-doubles, including back-to-back triple doubles on April 14 and 16, 2006.

A rookie out of Virginia, the 6-0 Singletary has seen action in 13 games this season, averaging 2.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.9 assists. Singletary was initially selected by Sacramento with the 42nd overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft before being traded to Houston on August 14 and later to Phoenix on August 25. A three-time First Team All-ACC selection at Virginia, Singletary finished his career as the only player in ACC history to record at least 2,000 points, 500 assists, 400 rebounds and 200 steals.

“We’re excited to add a player of Jason’s caliber to our starting lineup. He’s an explosive scorer who is also a strong defender,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr.

The 6-6, 225-pound Richardson, one of the league’s most dynamic scorers, has ranked in the NBA’s top-20 1in scoring in four of the last five seasons entering 2008-09. In “J-Rich,” the Suns acquire the Bobcats’ leading scorer in 2008-09 and 2007-08 when he set a Charlotte single-season franchise record for scoring average (21.8). The seven-year NBA veteran with Golden State (2001-07) and Charlotte (2007-08) is coming off a season in which he made 243 three-pointers, the fourth-best single-season total in league history, and did so on 40.6 percent shooting.

A three-time NBA conference Player of the Week (March 9 and 30, 2008; March 20, 2005), Richardson owns career averages of 18.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 534 games (527 starts), including a career-high 23.2-point scoring average in 2005-06 with the Warriors. A member of the 2000 NCAA Champion Michigan State Spartans, Richardson has averaged 20 or more points in three of the last four seasons and joins a Suns team that has compiled a 19-2 (.905) record since the start of 2007-08 when its starting shooting guard scores at least 20 points.

Regarded as one of the game’s most athletic players, Richardson won back-to-back Slam Dunk Contest titles at NBA All-Star Weekend in 2001-02 and 2002-03, a feat accomplished previously by only Michael Jordan. Originally the fifth overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft by Golden State, Richardson has shot at least 44 percent from the field in four of the last five seasons including 2008-09, and over 40 percent from three-point range in each of the last two campaigns.

Richardson is averaging 18.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 44.1 percent from the field, including 45.8 percent from three-point range, in 14 games for the Bobcats this season.

A 6-7, 225-pound forward, Dudley appeared in 73 games in his rookie season of 2007-08 after being selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Bobcats. The 2006-07 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year in his senior season at Boston College, Dudley is currently averaging 5.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 21.4 minutes in 20 games (seven starts).

“Jared is someone we’ve liked since he came out in the draft last year. He’s a versatile, tough-minded player who can help us in a lot of ways,” Kerr said.

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