Shaquille O’Neal: A Trade Deal?
by Jennifer Jordan
Is it an end of an era? It just might be. According to an article released by the Miami Herald on Tuesday, February 4, Shaquille O’Neal’s tenure with the Miami Heat may have grown cold: trade rumors involving his name have suddenly begun to circulate.
The Miami Herald, using information provided to them by sources close to the team, reported that Shaquille O’Neal, with two years left on his contract, may be leaving Miami, Florida for a similarly sunny destination: Phoenix, Arizona. Shawn Marion, a forward, and Marcus Banks, a point guard, are rumored to be leaving the Sun’s for the Heat if the trade progresses.
Shaun Marion, measuring six seven and a four time All Star, is six years younger than Shaq. This season, he has been averaging 15.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. He also is shooting over 50 percent from field goal range and believed to be one of the best forwards in the league. Marcus Banks, only 26 years old, is six two and averaging 5.2 points per game, 1 rebound and 1 assist. If given the right formation, he is believed to be a potentially explosive player.
The Miami Heat, having a rather dismal season, are desperately in need for someone who can shoot from the outside. O’Neal, a center, is about as far of an outside shooter as there is. Though he is a 14 time all star, and often dominates the inside lanes, injuries have left him sitting out several games this season. At 35 years old, his career is also on the downswing. While still a force to reckon with, his play isn’t what it once was. He is averaging only 14.2 points per game and 7.8 rebounds. Solid stats for a regular player, but low for O’Neal.
In addition to the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks are also rumored to be interested in a little Shaq attack. The Miami Herald, however, reported that the Miami Heat has not yet informed O’Neal of this possibility. O’Neal has, on the other hand, been informed about the Sun’s interest.
The Miami Heat were the team to beat two years ago when they won the NBA Championship. Last season, they greatly struggled and were ultimately kicked out of the first round of the playoffs. This season, it will take nearly a miracle to just make the playoffs. The Miami Heat are among the worst teams in the league and the majority of the games haven’t even been close. In short, they need all the help they can get, even if that means bidding farewell to one of the NBA greats.