I could not believe my ears when the ESPN sportscaster announced that Shaquille O’Neal had been traded to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Two years removed from an NBA Championship, Shaq is being moved again. Yes, the Heat are a dismal 9-40, but those are pretty lofty standards – trading someone after winning the championship a mere two seasons earlier. That’s kind of harsh. But then again, if the price is right, in this case Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks, you gotta make the deal happen.
So, who is this deal good for? Well, it is good for both teams, but maybe not how you think:
Suns: For the Suns, this trade is a good thing for the immediate future. I think that D’Antoni and Coangelo are thinking that Steve Nash only has a few more good years in him before he starts going south, and they want to win a championship before that happens. So, they bring in Shaq, who for the immediate future can help the Suns. Shaq still has a little left in that old, worn down body of his to contribute in the playoffs.
In order for Phoenix to finally compete with the big boys of the West, they really need a big, powerful center. Shaq is just that. Also, with the whole Shaq vs. Kobe drama rearing its ugly head again, Shaq may have an chip on his shoulder. A 7-foot, 350-lbs hall of famer with something to prove is a dangerous thing. If the Suns’ sole goal is to win a championship this year or maybe the next, the trade was a good idea. However, as for the long-term, this trade was stupid. Shaq will be gone in a couple of years and now Marion is gone as well.
Heat: For the Heat, this was a very good trade. One that may salvage their season as Shawn Marion is sure to revitalize a very demoralized Miami team. Since their Championship, the Heat have gone down hill, to say the least. I don’t think any team has ever fallen from grace as fast as the Heat have. Two years ago, they were the best team in basketball. Now, they are the worst, being beat out by the likes of the Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks. But now that Marion is in Miami, the Heat will be getting a full dose of what they have needed all season – energy and defense. Wade and company will be able to score enough points to win games. But the question is whether they can put up enough of a defensive effort to avoid being outscored every game.
Furthermore, not only will Marion help this season, but he is the type of player you can build a strong team around. With him, Haslem and Wade in Miami, the Heat will right the ship.
So, I’d say for the short-run, the Suns made a pretty good trade. However, the Heat definitely got the best of this transaction as Marion and Banks will help in the short-run and long-run.