Another unbelievable blockbuster went down in the NBA last night. However, it seems that this one makes little sense for either team, except maybe that their star players were simply looking for a change of scenery. It has been reported that the Miami Heat have traded Shaquille O’Neal to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.
Unlike the Pau Gasol trade, it seems to me that the fantasy impact of all the players involved will be diminished. On the Phoenix side, it is tough to imagine how the injury-prone, old center will be able to fit in with the offense that Mike D’Antoni likes to run with Steve Nash. I can understand that Shaq is still a defensive presence inside and thtis allows Amare Stoudamire to move to his more natural four position, but I envision Shaq clogging up the lane while Steve Nash is trying to drive, demanding the ball go through him in the half-court offense, and then going to the bench every five minutes due to the pace of the game. This seemingly will hurt Shaq’s offensive numbers, but also damage those of Steve Nash and Amare Stoudamire, who will suffer from the slower pace. Another interesting thing is that even though Shawn Marion has always been a fantasy stud, he did not require the ball. He was just great in position and playing with Nash and Stoudamire. If you think that Shaq does not require the ball, you’re crazy, and this will also slow down the Suns offense.
On the Miami Heat side, the season has been over, so why not shed the big contract of the big man and gain payroll flexibility? Dwayne Wade and Shawn Marion should be able to co-exist, but this writer believes that Marion was a byproduct of that Phoenix system and the beneficiary of the amazing point guard play of Steve Nash. I believe that Wade may continue to struggle without a dominating big man in the middle and Marion’s stats will take a big hit without solid point guard play and a “spread” offense. Comparing Pat Riley’s system and Mike D’Antoni’s are like looking at night and day.
So it seems like for the time being that both teams were more willing to just trade their unhappy superstars for each other. For the Suns especially, I hope they see something that we do not, since I cannot see how this move benefits them and moves them up to par with the Spurs and Lakers in the West. Trades are usually done so that both teams benefit. In this case, it seems like this is one of those trades that does the opposite for both teams, especially in the fantasy category.
Other Shaq-Marion Trade Analysis Around the Blogosphere
Hoops Fantasy: Shaq Traded to Suns? Fantasy Impact
Fantasy Basketblog: Shaq Attack
Born and Raised: Shaq is not the answer
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2 thoughts on “Shaq to Phoenix Screws Over Fantasy Managers”
As a Laker fan I am very excited about this trade. To me the Suns were one of the top three teams in the west (maybe better than the Lakers overall). I think the Suns got the ass end of the deal. Just think of how fast Nash gets across the court. It takes Shaq sometimes 12 seconds to get there. Who will fill the gap Marion left behind? NO ONE!
i think boris diaw can fill in well for marion. they are similar players, marion more athletic and diaw bigger. but i totally agree with you that shaq just clogs up the lane. one thing is true though. when playing a half court team like the lakers with two big men, im excited to see a matchup of shaq and amare vs. gasol and bynum