Friday, February 13, 2009

Raptors make their move - O'Neal, Moon swapped for Marion, Banks

All the talk has finally culminated in a move, as the Toronto Raptors have sent both Jermaine O'Neal and Jamario Moon to the Miami Heat for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.

For Toronto:
-instantly they have the best defender they've EVER had (and I mean in franchise history) in Marion so that's an improvement. Plus his expiring contract, and the very unlikely possibility he will resign with Toronto next season, allows GM Bryan Colangelo to walk around with an extra $17 million in the offseason to fill some holes/extend or resign some players.
-Banks is another Point Guard and likely one a step up from Will Solomon, so there are now more options for the back-up role when Calderon goes down. Until the play of Solomon and Roko Ukic becomes more consistent, you really need as many options as you can to choose from at that position coming off the bench (although it's likely this will spell the end to Solomon's playing time).
-with the improved play of Andrea Bargnani, finally starting to show signs of blossoming into the player Colangelo hoped he would become, O'Neal became expendable - especially with new Interim Head Coach Jay Triano's desire to pick up the pace on the Court. Toronto has just become faster.

For Miami:
-after the retirement of Alonzo Mourning they needed a presence down low and that is certainly what JO provides. and O'Neal does suit the style that Miami is playing right now, so as long as he can stay healthy and keep producing the way he has as of late this should be a happy marriage of player and team.
-Moon is a very great pick-up if for his contract alone! ($427,163 expiring this season).
-the whole salary cap thing works in Miami's favour for 2010, when they'll hope to retain all world Dwayne Wade and stop a flight to Chicago, New York or Toronto...alright I'm kidding about that last one, but man that'd be sweet!

For Toronto:
-Marion is injury prone, all the benefits gained thru this trade (for this season anyways) can be lost with a serious injury.
-Banks has a rather large contract ($4.75 mil for another 2 years) for a player who likely won't amount to a key contributor on this Toronto team.

For Miami:
-same-same, O'Neal is injury prone as he has also missed a number of games this season. With a team like Miami who is actually in the playoff hunt a loss like that could hurt them.
-Moon will not replace Marion, he's like the Caffeine-Free Diet Crystal Pepsi version of Shawn Marion! And he can be quite inconsistent from time to time on both ends of the court, the main reason he has lost so much time this season to Joey Graham. His contract is worth it unlike Banks, but much like Banks this isn't a player to sell the farm on.

There's issues for both teams here that may result in this trade becoming a dud, however there's also some great potential as well! Two talented former star players nursing injuries all season long with two bench players who won't change a game out there, that's what this trade amounts to. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and if this is the start of a push or a firesale for Toronto...


Anonymous said...

Suffice it to say the Jermaine O'Neal era was mercifully brief and completely unmemorable.

Rob Pettapiece said...

For what it's worth, Grange doesn't like the trade, though he seems to overlook Marion's D.

Mike Radoslav said...

There's definitely some merit to what Grange is saying but I'm not sure I agree with him on all levels.

You're right Rob that he is ignoring the D that Marion brings and Moon never had, so even if they're close statistically on the scoring sheet they're miles apart in terms of defensive presence. I think that's one of the biggest parts of this deal personally, as now the Raps may not by default give up 30+ to Lebron, Kobe, any decent slashing SF, etc.

For the resignings yes it looks like Delfino will be back but Graham and Parker, should they come back, well Graham might get the same amount of money after this season but I don't feel Parker should (no offence to AP but he's starting to age and his productivity is falling off). Marion AT MOST will get $8 mil., but I have a feeling after shopping himself around the market it might be a bit less. And if the Raps don't make the playoffs (presently set to miss out), what about that lottery draft pick they'd have? Could they not find a player to fill a gap there?

Marion is reported as saying after initial hesitations he would consider resigning with Toronto. If (another big "if") he can stay healthy now that's he's back playing an uptempo game (rather than the halfcourt Miami offence) I think the Raps have made a decent trade here. But that's just my opinion, and I certainly don't get paid for it ;)