Some talk about the trade chatter
So what do we all make of this O’Neal-Marion proposal?
Good? Bad? Shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic?
Probably more good than bad but, again, a gamble like every significant transaction is.
But, before anyone rushes out to grab up black Marion Raptor jerseys, take heed of this paragraph in this morning’s story:
“O'Neal, according to sources and various Internet reports, has told friends and acquaintances that he expects to be dealt to Miami. League sources tell the Star that nothing is expected to happen in the next 24 or 48 hours and it could be more than a week before any deal is finalized.”
What I got in various conversations yesterday was that the parameters are in place but nothing is going to get signed off on today or tomorrow or the next day. Things might escalate now but things might also bog down. And like any story of this nature, there are still ways it could get messed up and fall apart.
From Toronto’s end, and this has very little to do with O’Neal as a player or a person, it’s hard not to like this trade.
It frees up a defined roll for Andrea Bargnani, who looks like he can handle it.
It improves the wing rebounding situation, even if Marion’s a terrible three-point shooter (a whopping 19 per cent this year).
It gives Bryan Colangelo more financial flexibility more quickly and that’s never a bad thing. And it’s not just to look for free agents this coming summer. By being so far under the cap (somewhere around $14 million by the rough, early math and rough, early math is all we’ve got right now) he could do things like acquire top talent in a trade as easily as signing some free agent to a new deal. And if he doesn’t, he’d still have all kinds of financial possibilities as he moves on towards 2010.
The Banks contract’s a bad one but not horrific. It tops out at $4.8 million in 2010-11, hardly an immovable number.
The downside? O’Neal, when he’s been healthy, has been as advertised. Imposing interior defensive presence and shot-blocker and his offence was getting into shape before the latest setback. No one can tell me that a frontcourt rotation of Bosh, Bargnani and one of Humphries or Jake Voskhuhl is as a good Bosh-Bargnani-O’Neal, it’s simply not true.
Marion’s a bit of a gamble, too. He thrived in the zany, no-conscience offence in Phoenix and struggled at times in Miami; you tell me which Toronto more closely resembles. But he is in a contract year and, at 30 years old, would hopefully be motivated to finish this season strongly.
Here’s my bottom line: Toronto’s 16-25 and freefalling and it’s obvious something has to be done to salvage as much of this season as possible.
This injects athleticism into the lineup and frees up the mind of the one guy (Bargnani) who’s is improving by leaps and bounds.
I'd sure make this deal.