In what already sounds like a done deal, the Phoenix Suns are set to acquire Shaquille O'Neal from the Miami Heat in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.
Like most of the sports world, we're having a hard time figuring out why this trade would take place, specifically, why would Phoenix want to do this? Let's do a Pro/Con breakdown, from a Suns perspective:
Chemistry: Marion is unhappy, and has publicly said so.
Banks has an absolutely ridiculous contract for a backup.
Getting Shaq in the middle allows Amare Stoudamire to move to his more natural power forward spot, playing next to his idol.
A motivated Shaq can still be an unstoppable force (at least if he's healthy).
Having him in the middle provides better match-ups against the center loaded Western Conference (against which this team is only 14-12).
The window is closing for this group, and standing pat simply wasn't going to get them a title.
The Suns have been way too reliant on shooting three's of late, and dropping Shaq in the middle will force opponents to collapse a little more than they have been.
Have you seen Shaq play recently? The guy is a shell of his former self.
He's not healthy.
How does he fit into Mike D'Antoni's offense, which stresses run-run-run?
Does this signify a power shift or the very least, a change in philosophy for Phoenix? It would be hard to imagine D'Antoni being in favor of this move.
Why Shaq? He is owed $40 Million, and this is a team which is adamently opposed to paying any luxury taxes. Wouldn't Marcus Camby be a better, more athletic fit?
Is this just a panic move in response to the Lakers getting Pau Gasol over the weekend?
This could completely backfire, but the conventional wisdom says this team had to do something if it wants to go deep into the playoffs and bring home that title which has long eluded the city of Phoenix. We're still not convinced, but as Suns fans, will sit back and hope for the best.
Maybe Shaq won't pass his physical, and make the whole thing a moot point?
(UPDATE: He passed. It's a done deal.)
Sources: Suns a 'yes' away from acquiring Shaq for Marion (ESPN)
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