Suns fans are furious about today's blockbuster trade between the Suns and the Miami heat for Shaq. Read about the trade on ESPN here.
I'm a long time Suns fan (and partial season ticket holder) and at first I hated this trade. I mean Shaq is going to KILL KILL KILL our cap room with his crazy contract and bad knees. But... As I thought about it I liked it more and more.
Factors: 1. Marion wants to be the Man. He and Amare don't get along and someone has to go. 2. Marion is an amazing athlete, but his skills don't help us much a playoff time. The Spurs just don't give up that many uncontested ally-oops. Marion too often disappears in the playoffs. 3. I was at our last games against Spurs and Hornets (two leaders in the West). In both games we couldn't hold off the other team in crunch time and Amare played the "Ole" defense at Center. Conclusion: WE ARE NOT going to win a championship with this lineup and fastpace offense. 4. Amare HATES playing center and shows it with his lack of effort on defense. A better coach could motivate him, but with what we have now, something has to change. 5. Banks is a good player but is NEVER going to get playing time w/ D'Antoni. We needed to move him and his cap space. I wish him the best in Miami. 6. Marion's cap room is huge (almost as big as shaq's). It would be a mistake to resign him for what he wants. I love watching the guy play but he isn't the difference maker he thinks he is. We'll miss his excellent defense much more than his exciting but inconsistent offense. 7. Shaq is a huge risk. But now we have a chance to win against Dallas/Lakers/Spurs. We are actually going to struggle more against Golden State, but I'm more worried about the teams that knock us out of the playoffs every year.
Conclusion: Take the risk, roll the dice, and do this trade. We aren't going to win with what we have now --our best chance to win it all was two years ago and we came just short. Last year, Stern knocked out our best players so who knows. Let's make this trade so that we have a chance to have the inside presence we need against the Lakers/Hornets/Spurs/Mavs. If it doesn't work we're screwed for years cap-wise. But I think its worth the risk. Amare will be much happier playing power forward and Diaw can play small forward. We still have outstanding guards and we'll still be a solid team. We can't run w/ Shaq so we'll look a bit like the '80s "showtime" Lakers -- four guys running and gunning w/ Kareem (now Shaq) trotting down the court to join the offense if the fast break doesn't work.