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Miami Grabs Jermaine O'Neal, Not Amare

Feb 13, 2009 – 1:27 PM
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Tom Ziller

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The wild weekend has begun: ESPN reports that Toronto has (finally) sent Jermaine O'Neal and Jamario Moon to Miami for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. This ends the Heat's participation in those Amare Stoudemire rumors. (It also decreases the Brad Miller market by 100%.)

Marion should certainly fit in with the Raptors. Toronto desperately needs help on the boards and defensively, two calling cards of Matrix's game. O'Neal is also a good fit on paper for Miami. The Heat are starved for talent at the center position, and J.O. should do well next to Udonis Haslem and/or Michael Beasley.

If there's one concern for Miami, it's that the timing seems odd. All-Star Weekend has just begun, and the deadline sits six days away. There are numerous signs that teams either are panicking, or are on the precipice of panic. Two of these teams (perhaps the two most ready to panic) -- the Kings and Suns -- have been tied to Miami in trade rumors. With no games until Wednesday and no practice until Monday, surely Pat Riley could wait to see if Sacramento or Phoenix eased their demands. Right?

The deal all but ensures Miami won't have a chance at Carlos Boozer this summer. Toronto, meanwhile, could be a solid $12 million under the salary cap. It's not likely enough for Boozer, but restricted free agents like Josh Childress, Marvin Williams or (ahem) David Lee could be in play.
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