30.1.09

nba trade rumors: jermaine o'neal for shawn marion



last year, the memphis grizzlies practically gave away pau gasol to the lakers. the move propelled the lakeshow to the finals. that shows how one trade can make (or break) a team. this year, with the trade deadline approaching, trade rumors are numerous but i think only a few of them would pull through.

one player who managed to make it at the top of the trade rumor queue is shawn marion. some people expect toronto to make a push to acquire marion in exchange for jermaine o'neal. that was a fast turnaround for toronto. this summer, they basically traded tj ford fior o'neal and now it looks like they have given up on the jermaine experiment.

two things could convince toronto to trade o'neal away. first, jermaine's inability to stay healthy for a long time. second, andrea bargnani's recent surge. o'neal has already missed numerous games this season. bargnani on the other hand has stepped up while filling in for o'neal. that in my view makes jermaine tradeable.

but why would miami want jermaine? the answer is their need for a big man. no matter how hard haslem fights for those rebounds, he's no center. if jermaine would join the heat, they would have a potent inside presence. marion might be a scoring threat but moving him would enable the team to give thier rookie michael beasley more playing time to develop.

i think marion would be better off in toronto just like diaw and bell are better off in charlotte. he would play with a good power forward in chris bosh, and a pretty solid point guard in jose calderon. it can be remembered that he had the best years of his career playing with a solid power forward and an mvp point guard in phoenix.

why this trade might not take off: miami is also looking to dump mark blount's contract too which toronto might balk at. if that happens and miami would really like to have o'neal, they can just go ahead and make a straight-up swap. after all, both jermaine and shawn marion have expiring contracts.