Posted: Aug. 19, 2005
The Phoenix Suns today completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Atlanta Hawks that will send restricted free-agent guard Joe Johnson to Atlanta in exchange for guard/forward Boris Diaw (pronounced DEE-ow) and two future first-round draft picks. This trade also leaves Phoenix with a $6 million trade exception for their use in future dealings.
The Suns will receive Atlanta's own first round pick no later than the 2008 NBA Draft. That pick which is "lottery" protected (1-14) in 2006, has protection through No. 3 in 2007 and has no protection in 2008. In addition the Suns will also receive a conditional first round pick via either the Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics from an earlier trade between Boston and Atlanta. The Laker pick which is subject to protection through No. 10 in 2006, protection through No. 5 in draft years 2007-2010 and unconditional in 2011, is owed to Boston from yet another previous trade. In the year that the Laker pick is conveyed to Boston, Phoenix will receive the least favorable of Boston's own pick or the Laker pick.
“Joe Johnson made us aware of his personal desires which just didn't fit our model of building a team. We're sorry to see Joe leave and we wish him nothing but the best in Atlanta,” Suns President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo said. “Despite losing Joe, we are pleased that we have acquired a young, talented player in Boris Diaw, two first round draft picks and additional flexibility to keep our building process moving forward.”
The multitalented Diaw, 23, was originally selected by the Hawks with the 21st pick overall in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft. The 6-8, 215-pound swingman, averaged 4.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 142 career games (62 starts) with Atlanta. In his best game as a pro, Diaw posted career highs of 20 points and nine assists to go along with five rebounds and two blocks in 40 minutes at New York on April 17, 2005.
Prior to joining the NBA, he was a three-year member of Pau Orthez, France’s top professional team and last summer led France to a 5-1 mark at the 2004 European championship qualifying round, averaging team-bests of 12.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.8 steals and .556 shooting from the field.
Johnson, 24, averaged 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 275 career games (220 starts) with Phoenix after being acquired from Boston along with Randy Brown, Milt Palacio and a first-round draft pick for Rodney Rogers and Tony Delk during his rookie season on Feb. 20, 2002. The 6-7, 230-pound guard averaged a career-high 17.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 82 games in 2004-05. He also ranked second in the league with a franchise-record .478 three-point field goal percentage.