Raptors Send O'Neal To Heat For Marion
The Toronto Raptors have agreed to send Jermaine O'Neal and Jamario Moon to the Miami Heat in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks, league sources told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.
The deal is pending league approval, according to sources, and if approved, would be announced later Friday afternoon.
The Raptors had acquired O'Neal in the offseason, along with the rights to Nathan Jawai, from the Indiana Pacers, who got T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, Maceo Baston and a draft pick.
Marion was part of the Phoenix Suns deal in February 2008 that sent him and Banks to Miami for Shaquille O'Neal. Marion is in the last year of a deal that will pay him $17.8 million.
The Heat and the Raptors had discussed the deal for weeks and, with the trade deadline looming, decided to move forward. Miami also was linked to trade talk with several other teams, including Phoenix and Sacramento.
Neither the Heat nor the Raptors had any immediate comment.
In Phoenix for All-Star Weekend, Dwyane Wade did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the trade, saying he would wait until the deal was officially announced.
Marion was a key part of Miami's 28-24 start to this season, averaging 12 points (third on the team behind Wade and Michael Beasley, who now could replace him in the starting lineup at small forward) and a team-best 8.7 rebounds.
But he wanted a long-term contract, something Miami was not willing to provide.
One of Miami's primary areas of concentration, just as every other team in the NBA, is keeping cap space clear for the summer of 2010, when the likes of Wade, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Chris Bosh can be free agents.
And this trade clears another $4.8 million in cap room for that summer; that's what Banks, who had fallen out of the rotation in Miami, would have been owed in the 2010-11 season.
Plus, it gets Miami a true center in Jermaine O'Neal. The 30-year-old averaged 13.5 points and seven rebounds for Toronto, but has been slowed by injuries. He's owed nearly $23 million next season, but that money won't affect Miami's free-agent plans for 2010.
Miami has played an array of players at center this season, including Jamaal Magloire, Joel Anthony, Mark Blount and even Udonis Haslem, a forward who gives up several inches in height and at least 20 pounds to every other true center in the NBA.
Banks averaged 2.6 points in 16 games with Miami this year. Moon averaged 7.3 points in 54 games with Toronto, and becomes a free agent after this season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.