Quentin Richardson will be dealt to the Knicks in exchange for Kurt Thomas and a future conditional number one draft choice. This deal is pending league approval and should be announced following Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.
The deal was confirmed to me by a source close to the trade negotiations.
There was little doubt that one of the Suns’ five starters from the 2004-2005 season would not be back for the 2005-2006 season and Richardson is the player who that Bryan Colangelo and the Suns have decided to move. The move will clear room for the Suns to re-sign restricted free agent Joe Johnson.
Thomas is signed through the 2009 season, while Richardson, whose game overlaps with Johnson, is signed through the 2009 season as well and the Suns have a team option for the 2009-2010 season.
Richardson averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds per game in his first season in Phoneix. He made 226 3-pointers with the high-powered Suns, compared to 120 in his final season in Los Angeles.
Thomas, a 10-year veteran, gives the Suns a player who averaged 11.5 and 10.4 rebounds per game last season with the Knicks. He will allow Shawn Marion to slide back to the small forward position and Amare Stoudemire will be less exposed at center, playing beside a power forward of Thomas' caliber.