Does Michael Redd Deserve to Start over Jared Dudley for Phoenix Suns?

Roberto PayneContributor IJanuary 16, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 13:  Michael Redd #22 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball under pressure from Deron Williams #8 of the New Jersey Nets during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 13, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Nets defeated the Suns 110-103. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns signed Michael Redd on December 29th, and many Phoenix fans were optimistic he could make a difference on the team. But is it realistic to expect him to be a starter on the team?

Redd was among the NBA's top scorers and one of the league's premier shooting guards merely two-and-a-half years ago. Then Redd lost two seasons to knee injuries, and many thought he would not be very effective if he returned.

The Suns have been known to sign veterans, and it could be a big signing.

When healthy, Michael Redd can shoot consistently from deep and provide the type of go-to scorer the team desperately needs. This could leave incumbent starting shooting guard Jared Dudley in an interesting situation. Will he continue to start? Or will Redd surpass him as the team's starter?

From a pure basketball standpoint, it might be better to start Redd. That would allow Dudley to return to the bench, where he was so effective last season, and be the all-important backup small forward to Grant Hill. Dudley would still get a good deal of minutes and might even finish games at shooting guard instead of Redd.

That would be a best-case scenario. But things rarely go as planned, and Dudley could become downhearted with the move to the bench. That could lead to more problems than necessary and damage the team's chemistry.

My guess is Dudley would accept the move if his playing time continued to be consistent. That would allow the bench unit to be better all around.

So could Redd start? Definitely. Does he deserve to start? If healthy, I see no reason why not.