Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Shaq for Marion

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Raptors are (26-21)

The biggest trade to happen in 2008 and the one with the most weight since the Garnett trade, doesn’t seem to make much sense for one of the teams.

Yes, last night the Miami Heat unloaded Shaq O’Neil’s enormous contract on the Phoenix Suns. And what did the Suns have to give up to get a 36 year old center, that has 2 years and 20 million per year left on his contract. They sent Shawn Marion to Miami, along with Marcus Banks to equal out the current salaries.

On paper this trade works. The salaries match and the Suns have been looking to move Marion, as he has requested a trade before the season started. But, that’s where the trade stops making sense. Marion has played well for the Suns, yes, his points per game are down, but so are his minutes. His field goal percentage (.526) has been consistent for the past 3 years , as are his rebounds. Shaq, on the other hand is averaging a career low 14 points per game, 10 points lower than the career average (although his percentage hasn’t changed). Rebounds… down.

The Miami Heat have changed the team for the better. They must have a game plan, if they hope to resign Dwayne Wade. With Marion as his new side-kick, Wade and the Heat are open to more of a …. Phoenix Suns running game?

As for the Suns, when Shaq is health, he will start at center and Amare Stoudemire will move to his preferred power forward position. Grant Hill will remain at the other forward spot and Steve Nash and Raja Bell will will be the guards. As mentioned, the Suns like to run, but now only 4 of the five will (where in the past the first 7 guys would run). Shaq will be following the play. For those that watch Shaq, he will not cross half before the Suns have put up 2 shots. I’m not sure how they make this work. Are they planning to have 2 attacks, one on the run and if that doesn’t work, wait for Shaq to walk up the floor?

The Miami Heat may add to their win total as a result of this trade, but they will not be making a push for the play-offs, even in the East. But they made this trade for the future, one less year on the contract and a younger healthier, more productive player.

Good job, Pat Riley.

Suns, please prove me wrong.

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