by Ryne Nelson

Yup, we’re awful late to report this blockbuster (can you call it that?) of a trade. But better late than never.

The Suns are still trying to find the right roster by bringing in offensive arsenalist Jason Richardson. Phoenix also acquired some loose change as well, but Richardson is the one who figures to actually play.

The Suns give up their best perimeter defender in Raja Bell to Charlotte, but that’s truly a small loss since they’re still not a defensively focused team. Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary get Bobcats uniforms as well.

The Arizona Republic has Suns GM Steve Kerr’s take on his acquisitions:

“(JRich) is athletic and gives us a really potent offensive player,” Suns General Manager Steve Kerr said. “He’s also an excellent defensive players and he’s in his prime. He’s a very high-character guy and well-regarded around the league for his professionalism.”

[…]

“I’m high on Dudley,” Kerr said. “He’s versatile and can guard multiple positions and play like a small four (power forward) or a big three (small forward).”

No one knows what the Bobcats were thinking, not even the Charlotte Observer beat reporters. The trade went official around 5 p.m. ET, and a “Stay tuned for more updates” message has been on the site for over three hours.

Diaw’s contract is ugly: He’s owed $9 million per season through 2012. Bell seems like a 2010 cap room guy, as his $5.25 million comes off the books after next season.

So why would Charlotte (er, Michael Jordan) accept this deal? Simple, Bell and Diaw would be the third and fourth best players on the Bobcats right now.

Analysis aside, what it all seems to come down to is this: Finally, JRich is on the step-up.

(Hat tip to Holly, BETCATS, Jeff Fox and many others)