Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Diesal Drivin' to the Desert
The Worldwide leader says that the Big Fella is heading out West. ESPN reports that the Miami Heat have agreed in principle to trade Shaq O'Neal to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. This would have been a blockbuster...2 years ago. It's still a pretty big deal in today's terms, but it doesn't have the luster that it would have had when the Shaq Daddy was the most dominant center in the league. Thank God NBA fans have finally woken up and smelled the napalm and realized that Shaq doesn't deserve to be an all-star anymore. This trade is very interesting in terms of the parties involved. Normally, you would never see the Suns making this move, but it seems like Steve Kerr has decided to get risky and hope that O'Neal can become healthy and re-ignite his career. Shaq must be sick of the Heat. I don't blame him, they are pathetic and going to a winner could be just what he needs to round back into monster form. Personally though, I don't really see what the Suns are thinking here. If Big Poppa can become as good as he was during the Heat's championship run, then it could pay off. Anything less though would make this move like a major mistake for Phoenix. Clearly the Suns think that this is their year to win the Title. There is no team in the West that running away with anything. The parity has actually propelled the Suns into the best current record in the West. It's no secret that Phoenix is weak inside. Outside of Amare, there is no looming presence in the middle. But Shaq is old as balls. He has a maximum of one good season left in him and I wouldn't be shocked to see him golfing in the winter of 2010. Miami still blows, but they just got better. I think this team could actually be a playoff team next year if they can have a good draft. Remember, the East is still weak sauce and the Heat will have a high pick in the draft. They still have D Wade and they definitely got the better side of this deal in my opinion. Shawn Marion is one of the best all-around contributers in the NBA. He's an elite defender, an great rebounder, and an above average 3 point shooter. He also turns the ball over very infrequently. This kind of player will be a big bonus in Miami, considering Wade is a TO machine. The Matrix is unselfish and a great team player. It's not wonder he always is near the top of the fantasy leaderboards. Marcus Banks has been pretty Boo-urns with the Suns, but 2 years ago, he was productive in Minnesota averaging 12 points, 5 assists, and over a steal a game. I'm not saying he's going to blow up in Miami, but it appears that a change of scenery was key for him as a player, since he was getting no PT in Phoenix. The big factor in this trade is age. Shaq is only a couple years away from going to a nursing home (age 35...which is dinosaur age for a big man), while the two UNLV alums Banks and Marion are 26 and 29 respectively. Don't even get me started on Shaq Fu's Gigantic Salary that is now off the Heat's hands. If Miami can somehow get the Matrix to re-sign with them next year and draft a quality Big Man (Michael Beasly perhaps) next year, they could be a solid team in 2008-09. On the flip side, the Suns made this trade with this season only in mind.
Posted by Andrew Adamson at 2:27 PM