Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks are reportedly heading to the Miami Heat in exchange for the bloated contract of Shaquille O’Neal. This deal makes perfect sense for the Miami Heat (its a steal and a huge money dump), but absolutely no sense for the Phoenix Suns, who are clearly trying to destroy their own championship caliber team.
For financial purposes, this is ludicrous:
Shaq is signed for $20Mill through 2009/2010. Marion can and undoubtedly will opt out of his contract at the end of this season. Since no one can sign him straight up for the money he will be asking for, the Suns can exploit the market and sign and trade him under the condition that the other team also takes Marcus Banks. They could get a much higher return on the dollar for ths trade, but even if they simply let Marion leave, they could save a ton of money at the end of the season. Shaq has no reason to accept a buy-out, so he will likely be around through the end of the 09/10 season, and the Suns will have to pay him for what can only be limited and probably worthless contributions. Even if he retires, they’ll still owe him the money.
This trade won’t make the Suns any better:
Grant Hill and Alondo Tucker are the only players left at the SF position. We all know that Grant Hill can’t be counted on to stay healthy, so that’s clearly not going to work. Shaq is a shell of his former self, he can’t play defense, he can’t shoot or rebound like he used to, and he was never able to hit a free throw. Now, he can’t stay healthy. So if he plays more than 15 minutes a game I will frankly be surprised.
Shawn Marion was far more valuable to the Suns than anyone is willing to admit. Frankly its possible that, by this trade, the Suns will go from 1 in 5 teams most likely to win the championship to becoming one of the bottom teams in the Western Conference playoffs, if they can even stay in the race. As a Warriors fan, I’m ecstatic, but as a basketball fan I feel horrible for Steve Nash. His personnel office has continued to damage and shortchange his team and its chances for the past three years.