Raptors Heat Deal Seems Imminent

With the Raps in a 7 game slump, on a slow road to nowhere, all signs seem to pointing to a deal being consummated.:

“Medical papers have been swapped. The long view is being stressed. And Pat Riley’s fetish for height remains unsated. After the Miami Heat president commented for the first time in months about his team’s personnel situation, it is difficult to take any view other than that a trade is in the works. Speaking moments after center Alonzo Mourning announced his retirement, Riley said Thursday while he appreciates his team’s current spot in the playoff race, long-term championship aspirations supersede current considerations.”The point is that the big picture always trumps the present moment,” he said. “While the present moment is important, I am not going to do something to take away from what I think we can see down the road.”

That from my favorite NBA writer, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel. I used to read Ira and listen to him regularly on the Hank Goldberg show in Miami.

“A move that could satisfy both objectives could be a trade of forward Shawn Marion to the Toronto Raptors for center Jermaine O’Neal, whose contract expires at the end of 2009-10. Asked about the Heat and Raptors having swapped medical information on Marion and O’Neal, Riley said, “It doesn’t make any difference. I could have made the same request to five other teams, also. That’s just the normal process.”

Done deal? Maybe not…coming? Sure sounds like it…

“”I’ve had long conversations with Shawn and with Dan,” Riley said of agent Dan Fegan. “It’s not a very comfortable time for anybody. I value Shawn Marion immensely. He is a tremendous player and I’m sorry that this is going on right now.

“Shawn Marion, right now, he’s our second-best player on the team and I value him as that.”

The Palm Beach Post thinks it will happen soon, maybe not yet, but soon:

“if the trade does happen – and my guess is it will, ’cause Riley loves this stuff and the cart-and-horse thing wasn’t exactly a denial – Miami could use a four-headed center (O’Neal, Joel Anthony, Jamaal Magloire and Udonis Haslem) in mix-and-match style. That wouldn’t scare many teams, but it would only be for a while if the Bosh plan subsequently worked out. The Heat has a dozen games to play before the Feb. 19 deadline, and what’s worth remembering is that Marion-for-O’Neal is about Miami’s long-term future a whole bunch more than it is about the present attempt to remain a viable playoff contender. That, and how much Riley loves this stuff.”

Check out Ira’s article here…
Check out the Palm BeachPost here

About the Author