If you’re thinking about the upcoming Suns season, think small.
The Suns are on the verge of signing Quentin Richardson, a free agent off guard who has played for four years for the Los Angeles Clippers, said an NBA source with knowledge of talks between the player and club.
The deal would be for six years, the source said.
Richardson, 24, is a restricted free agent, so the Clippers would have the right to match any offer for the 6-foot-5, 238-pounder who played for two seasons in college at DePaul.
A signing of Richardson by the Suns could help force a decision by Kobe Bryant, who is said to be considering signing with the Clippers. If Bryant signs up, the Clippers likely wouldn’t be interested in Richardson, who plays the same off-guard spot as Bryant.
At the same time, the Clippers might be reluctant to match the offer, because that would make it difficult to sign Bryant, who may be far from making any decision on his future.
Adding Richardson, who averaged 17.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season, would give the Suns a "small ball" lineup featuring Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and Joe Johnson up front with newcomers Steve Nash and Richardson in the backcourt.
It’s clear the Suns are short of big men, not guards.
But it’s believed that the Suns do not want to get involved in a free agent market for big men that’s so bloated that Adonal Foyle, a career backup, re-signed with Golden State for $8 million a season. Suns officials declined comment.
The idea of the Suns grabbing Bryant, though a long shot, is still a possibility. Bryant would have to decide he wants to join the Suns, who then would try to swing a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers, a deal that presumably would involve Marion.