Friday, February 13, 2009

Well, That Was Quite a Final Play in a Heat Uniform...

Shawn Marion (and Marcus Banks) have been traded to the Toronto Raptors for Jermaine O'Neal and Jamario Moon.

At least Marion had quite a final lasting image in our minds after last night's game-winning dunk on the Chicago Bulls. If you're going to get shipped off, at least make your last play for your former team count, and Marion did just that.

The initial reaction from this trade has got to be that the Heat made a slight improvement. O'neal, when healthy, is a legitimate post player, and that's something the Heat have been wanting/needing since they traded Shaq.

Also, it seems that this trade will take Miami out of the running for Carlos Boozer this offseason, because rumors have been swirling since this past offseason about Miami making a run at him. But by picking up O'Neal's $23 million, it appears the Heat won't be making any big signings this offseason.

That also means that come 2010, when O'Neal's contract expires (not to mention Dwyane Wade's) that the Heat will have a ridiculous amount of salary cap space to try to keep Wade and lure in another big name free agent.

This move should make the Heat a more legitimate playoff team this season than they would have been with Marion and Banks. Moon is a solid role player, and a rotation of Wade, O'Neal, Michael Beasley, Daequan Cook, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem and Moon should take the Heat beyond the first round of the playoffs.

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