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Burns: Turkoglu trade fixes an unnecessary mistake

It happens more often than I care to admit. An impulse buy. A pair of gym shorts at Target. A new traveler coffee mug from Starbucks. And the minute I get home I realize I’ve wasted my money. Didn’t need it. Didn’t really want it. Got five just like it.

I’ve never been afraid to take it back to the store and return it, often times in the same day.

That’s what the Suns just did with Hedo Turkoglu. It was an impulse purchase. Buyer’s remorse set in and they returned him to the store.

Between that subtraction and the addition of a young, skilled big man in Marcin Gortat it feels like a good deal. It feels like a cause worth celebrating and at some level I suppose you should. They’re weren’t satisfied to live with a mistake and worked quickly to correct it.

But that’s where my analogy falls apart because when I return a pair of gym shorts to Target it costs me nothing but the time it takes to drive back to the store.

In the Suns case it cost them Jason Richardson. And while some balance has been restored they still traded a plate of wings for a plate of wings (Turkoglu/Richardson for Carter/Pietrus). For me, though, the problem runs deeper than that. When I look at Saturday’s trade, I think about Steve Kerr.

It is perfectly fair to wonder if the Suns would have had to work so hard to undo the Turkoglu mistake had Kerr been around to not make it in the first place. Not keeping Kerr was unexpected and vastly disappointing; this latest trade simply reflects that. To make all the decisions that had to be made this summer – letting Amar’e Stoudamire walk and instead spending a huge wad of cash on Turkoglu, Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick – without an experienced NBA GM at the helm defies logic.
And oh by the way, guess who is calling his first Suns game for TNT on Thursday night? Welcome back Steve Kerr.

Time will tell if Lon Babby and Lance Blanks will develop into front office types the way Kerr did. Babby referred to the Turkoglu trade as a “noble experiment.” Personally, I would classify it a “bad guess.”

Either way, this past off-season deserved better than an experiment or a guess. It needed a plan and the Suns didn’t have one.

While the Suns organization deserves credit for showing the willingness to admit their mistake, perhaps it was one that could have – should have – been avoided in the first place.