Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Shaquille O’Neal-Shawn Marion Trade

Whenever a trade involving superstar players happens, the first reaction of people like me is to decide who got the better deal. But, the trade of Shaquille O’Neal by the Miami Heat to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion may benefits both teams, equally.

Miami was sitting in the Eastern conference cellar. They have an injury-prone roster and a lack of depth on their bench, but the real problem was that the 35-year old O’Neal seemingly fell apart this year. They knew when they got him from the Lakers a few years ago that he was nearing the end of his career, but they hoped he had enough left to win the team a championship, and he did. Then he lost all of his athleticism and stamina. It was like he got old over night. It’s really unfair to criticize him now. For over a decade O’Neal was the most intimidating and dominating player in the NBA. But he’s carried his massive 335-pound frame through too many seasons and too many playoffs. O’Neal is fat, tired, and constantly healing minor injuries … and now he’s playing for a team that treats basketball like a track meet. He would seem like a terrible fit for the Suns, but they’ve been beaten-up during the last three playoffs and have finally realized that you can’t win a title without a big man. They won’t ask O’Neal to play like his former self, they won’t even ask him to run with them. If he’s willing to play defense and stand tall, the Suns are serious title contenders. Plus, Marion was begging to be traded and was becoming a nuisance, so they decided to give one of the greatest centers of all time a last chance at another title without having to carry the team. That sounds pretty good.

Miami, on the other hand, was going nowhere. They needed to rebuild without including their franchise player – Dwyane Wade, in any deal, but they didn’t think anyone would give a decent player for the fading O’Neal and the two expensive years left on his contract. But, they were able to land Marion, an excellent player. He’s the best rebounder at small forward in the league, a shutdown defender, and a truly outstanding athlete. He wants a big pay increase and they’d be crazy not to give it to him. Marion will team with Wade and the lottery pick in this year’s draft and this team will be competitive again very soon.

So, after seeing the Boston Celtics steal Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers steal Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies, it looks like we may have seen a trade in the NBA that benefits both teams. Why couldn’t you do that, Memphis Grizzlies?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:48 PM

    nice player of the last season

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