The Toronto Raptors acquired Shawn “The Matrix” Marion today, along with former UNLV scud Marcus Banks for Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon. Speculation has been rampant for weeks about the possibility of this trade so it’s pretty anti climatic at this point for me. With the Raptors going through a forgettable season to this point this trade at least addresses some player movement, something that I am always in favour of (please read this Toronto Maple Leafs/Toronto Blue Jays/Buffalo Bills).
In the new world of sports and salary caps, it seems to be pretty difficult to move players. Mostly because you aren’t moving just the player themselves, you are also moving the players contract. In this deal it’s pretty clear that it’s not a straight upgrade in talent for either club. Both teams made this deal so they could free up much needed cap space. The Raptors for this upcoming off-season and the Heat for the madness that is the summer of 2010.
For me having Marion join the Raps for the final 27 games doesn’t really give me the warm and fuzzies. Nor do I believe they will make a charge into the playoffs with their newly revamped roster. In actual fact it’s probably nothing more than a good opportunity for him to showcase himself for his impending free agency. The likely hood of him resigning with the Raps is not good (I probably have a better shot at being Salma Hayek’s next breast feeding victor..pick me, please pick me). The other player the Raps will receive in this deal is Marcus Banks. I believe the Raps will come to regret acquiring his albatross of a contract. He is the classic million dollar moves and five cent shots kind of player. His impact on the floor will be negligible, but the financial impact will be do much harm to a team that won’t ever swim within the luxury tax thresh hold.
On the other side of the swap the Dinos lose Jermaine O’Neal. In a basketball sense it just didn’t work out here for him. The style of play along side CB4 and losing out minutes to Andrea Bargnani wasn’t conducive for success. By all accounts he was a true pro about his tenuous situation with the team, so this move obviously benefits him the most. I imagine that Miami’s offence that circulates around the multi talented Dwyane Wade (great ball player but I still cling to the reports of him fandangling around with Star Jones, urhg?) will be a perfect cure for J.O’s ills.
My happiest moment in hearing about this trade came when I heard that Jamario Moon was heading out of town. His rise from CBA’er to NBA’er was a touching story last year. This year Moon was a write off. I cringed everytime he took a jump shot. It’s fair to say that I’m no NBA talent scout, but I’m guessing Moon’s jumper wasn’t what got him to the NBA in the first place.
Here’s what Toronto Star columist Doug Smith had to say about the trade.