Wednesday, February 6, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Let's Make a DEAL! I'll Take the Aging Big Man and the Retarded Contract Behind Door Number 2 Monty

Let me start by saying I never thought I'd say this deal's getting done, but this deal's getting done. All preliminary reports say that Shaquille O'Neal is going to be moved to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion and a horribly expensive contract point guard Marcus Banks.

This deal looks sort of crazy on paper, but let's delve a bit deeper. We know why it makes sense for Miami, they get The Matrix, and they get to move Shaq's contract so they can still make their prophesied "splash" this summer, due to Jason Williams' $8 million and Ricky Davis' (Andre 3000) $6 million coming off the books; and with the record they'll finish with this year, their upcoming draft should go pretty well too. Phoenix on the other hand, gets to move Banks' and Marion's contracts, which is a blessing for them, but they get to pick up Shaq's ($40 million over 2 years left), which doesn't fix their luxury tax issues, and Banks is a point guard, already a position that the Suns are light on. So what good does this trade do Phoenix?

One thing it does is lets Amare Stoudemire go to the power forward position, which is his natural position, and which is GREAT for him in the West because teams will have match-up nightmares against him. Think of when they play against their rival San Antonio Spurs, and Popovich has to decide which guy Duncan guards, and who ever Big Fundamental's not on will get to take advantage of Fabricio Oberto (LL Cool Fab) and Fransisco Elson. Stoudemire's a bruiser that can dominate inside, yet his finesse, quickness, and athleticism is something the majority of Western big men have trouble defending. That in and of itself makes the deal pretty sexy.

Plus when Nash leaves, Amare is the leader whether anyone likes it or not, and Kazaam's not a bad guy to learn about being "the man" from. They also like the idea of Boris Diaw being Shawn Marion Lite at small forward, which he can do with his size, shot, and athleticism, and really, Marion was bringing the team down with his "I'm the Matrix when I want to be attitude" and his whining about playing second and sometimes third fiddle to Nash and Stoudemire (for more information on this, check out Jack McCallum's fantastic book Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin' and Gunnin' Phoenix Suns).

Overall, I like the deal. Miami probably won't be able to keep Marion due to his opt-out clause, but playing with Dwayne Wade changes people. Marion may become a vegetarian and start going to Pilates, or maybe even beat Dragonforce on Expert (the child in that video is not a real person, I'm convinced). So for all we know, he may want to stay there, and that could make Miami dangerous. Shaq may be a bit of a paper tiger, but he's still a low post threat which can draw double teams, and Nash can completely exploit that. Hopefully, this can be the blossoming of Boris Diaw that we've all been waiting for, and maybe Amare will grow up a bit and take it to that next level going from high quality big man to elite big man, because he's really really close and this might be exactly what he needs.


ivro89 said...

I'm sorry but I have to pull the "wtf" card on this entire post. Just the notion that this trade works for the Suns is absurd. When/If Shaq eventually does get healthy enough to play, he is going to kill the entire squad that D'Antoni threw together. The Suns litterally never play a slow pace of basketball so how is Shaq who is old and out of shape going to get up and down the court. Its going to be a 4 on 5 game for the Suns constantly on offense. The suns obviously pulled this as a "fuck you" move to the Lakers and trying to find a way to guard both Bynum and Gasol. Now rather than having Marion's contract leave after the opt-out in the summer and being able to sign someone more compitant, they threw 40 million more on to their bill. Why not just keep Kurt Thomas this offseason. He was terrible offensivly and slightly overpaid, but could guard Duncan better than anyone in the west, and still provide that quickness to get up and down while enabling Amare to play PF. Instead they traded him and two first round picks for a SECOND ROUND PICK!!! How does that make any sense. How they are saddled with someone slower, more overpaid, less healthy, and worse in a fast offense, and had to give up Shawn Marion for him. So you tell me who would you rather have... an unhappy Shawn Marion, Marcus banks, Kurt Thomas and 2 first round picks or Shaq and a second rounder? Seems like even the last place team in the league decided they rather have the first choice even if it didnt include thomas or 2 first rounders.

Magic Man said...

Well its official. Neon Bodeaux is now a Sun. Never thought Pau Gasol would make GM's go so Bat Shit crazy. Whats next? Big Al Jefferson to the Spurs for The Alamo, Jacque Vaughn, Eva Longoria and a pack of skittles? Somebody get Kevin McHale's crazy ass on the phone.

G.L. Rawx said...

Ivro, you have points. However, I wasn't posting that to say that I think the Suns won out in that deal. I said that I'm OK with the deal, not I love the deal. No one in their right mind would do that deal straight up; do you think that Shaquille O'Neal is fair market value for Marion and Banks? Of course not, because he's not. But that's not the NBA. It's not a magical world where people do deals and teams get fair market value for every guy they move. Sorry if you don't like that but it's the truth my friend. When guys grumble, they get moved. When GM's feel threatened, they make moves. Therefore, fair market value no longer exists. I'm just giving you a positive take on a deal that everyone seems to view as negative for Phoenix, when it doesn't have to be. It's speculation for anyone to say anything about it right now.

ivro89 said...

truth in what you're saying about fair market value, the only problem, is that there is a difference between getting 75 cents to the dollar and getting a hand full of crap to the dollar. What do the Suns have to gain by moving Marion to Miami? Even if the guy is gonna opt-out in the offseason you are gonna have a bunch of cap room in order to sign someone in an offseason with a ton of talent in it. It would have made more sense for the Suns to have traded Marion to the Magic for Adonal Foyle. Atleast Adonal plays more than 20 games a season and can motivate himself enough to get into shape. I mean honestly, the Suns couldn't even get a 2nd round pick out of Miami along with Shaq? No, instead they just got older, slower, less healthy, and possibly killed any chance they had at winning a title due to lack of being able to sign a free agent now with Shaq. You wanna talk about fair value because of Marion's unhappyness, but you forget to cite the fact that Shaq got into a full out screaming altercation with Pat Riley earlier in the year, which is alot of the reason he's milking his injury, and even began filing retirement papers because of his unhappyness with the Heat. That alone should have afforded the Suns a pick or two for one of the leagues best, relitavely young players. Shit even the T-Wolves got Al Jerfferson for KG and they had Kevin McHale working the phones. So in essesnce the Suns for an unhappy Shaq for and unhappy Marion. This trade is beyond the logic of "well they didn't get fair market value, but hey they did their best." No, they got nervous because they saw SA and LA had bigs, and they figured they would get the biggest name out there even if he was devoid of his talent.

G.L. Rawx said...

Ivro my man, I did not once say that anyone did their best in the deal. I agree with you, Phoenix could've done better, but they didn't, so that's what my commentary is on. Not what they could've done, what they did. Instead of smearing the deal, which is easy to do because of the mindbogglingness of it all, I took the other route and tried to find what's good about this deal. No arguments, no defending anyone, I just don't see it being that bad for Phoenix. For all you know, they may have offered the Magic Marion and Banks for Adonal Foyle, but the money doesn't work. The money wouldn't work for a lot of teams, so they found a deal where the money did work, and everyone had their reasons for getting the deal done. I just think it's important to realize that there's a lot more factors that go into getting this deal done than us armchair GMs know about.