Reports are abound that the Raptors and Miami Heat are talking swap. The story coming from one of my very favorite papers, the Sun-Sentinel has the following trade being discussed:
To Toronto: forward Shawn Marion and point guard Marcus Banks
To Miami Jermaine O’Neal.
Sources tell the Maimi Herald newspaper that “Toronto Raptors center Jermaine O’Neal reportedly believes he will soon be traded to Miami.”
Apparently the Heat have hit the pause button while they monitor Jermaine O’Neal’s health. Bryan Colangelo would like to pull the trigger ASAP.
“With $45 million due over the next two seasons, O’Neal’s contract would allow the Heat to maintain financial flexibility for a deep 2010 free-agent class that could include Heat guard Dwyane Wade.”
“Similarly Marion, whose contract expires after this season, has yet to find a comfortable fit with the Heat since arriving from Phoenix last season in the Shaquille O’Neal trade. He’s been a good defender and rebounder but has not approached the All-Star production he enjoyed in Phoenix. Banks, who came along with Marion from Phoenix, hasn’t been much of a factor for the Heat despite its need for a veteran point guard. His contract, which has two years and more than $9 million remaining, would allow the deal to work under NBA rules. Marion, 30, couldn’t work out a contract extension with the Heat before this season. In Toronto he would be reunited with Colangelo, who was the general manager in Phoenix until leaving for Toronto in 2006.”
The third Florida daily (the palm beach post) has the story as well:
“One Internet web site quoted a source close to O’Neal saying, “if he’s healthy it could very well happen.” O’Neal missed 12 games because of a right knee injury, returning Friday to score two points and grab seven rebounds in 17 minutes during a Raptors loss at Indiana. He is averaging 13.3 points and 7.2 rebounds this season, one that has been a huge disappointment for the Raptors.”
I looked for more on ESPN.com and Foxsports.com but didn’t see anything….