NBA Lunchroom Trades

Feb 6, 2008

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI 

Do you remember when you were in the 3rd grade and people asked you to swap lunches?  Someone would try and pry your smoked turkey sandwich with all the fixin’s for their stinkin’ PB & J sandwich that their Mom slopped together.  That made no sense then, and it would makes no sense now. 

I already discussed the Pau Gasol trade, but using the lunchroom trade analogy I’d say Memphis traded their Ho Hos® for some carrot sticks.  Now, Miami is poised to trade their PB & J (Shaq) to the Pheonix Suns for that smoked turkey sandwich (Shawn Marion).  I ask why?  The only thing I can come up with is the old “addition by subtraction” theory.  Shawn Marion must have become such a pain-in-the-Equus asinus that the Suns are willing to accept a lesser commodity in return. 

There is no question that in his prime, Shaq was by far the more dominant player in this mix.  It’s not even up for debate.  Sure, The Matrix is much more versatile, but nobody since Michael Jordan has been able to extol his will on a game quite like Shaq.  The only way to stop him in his prime is to cowardly turn to the Hack-a-Shaq defense.  However, this isn’t the Shaq of old.  This is an aging (turns 36 next month) big man with a bad hip. He’s averaging a career low 14.2 points per game and his 7.8 rebound average is second to last years 7.4 for the lowest in his 16 year career.

Meanwhile, Shawn Marion is six years his junior, and is in the midst of another fabulous season.  His scoring is down slightly (15.8 ppg), but there are a lot of mouths to feed in Phoenix.  He’s still stuffing the stat line with 9.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game.  He should be a nice compliment to Dwayne Wade.

Phoenix has tried and failed with the high tempo offense.  Perhaps, the Shaq Daddy can help them in their half-court sets, which is what is needed in the playoffs.  He’ll be able to bang with Tim Duncan, Marcus Camby, and Yao Ming.  Perhaps most importantly, he’ll bring that million dollar smile and locker room presence to a team that needs a little something to push them over the top.  Perhaps you could have gotten something better than Shaq’ PB & J, but you have to give Phoenix some credit for taking a chance here. 

It will be fun to see Shaq and Kobe in the same conference.  Personally, I’ve always sided with Shaq, and would continue to do so.  It would be a pleasure if Shaq won his second ring without his former sidekick. 

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4 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Campy
    February 6th, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

    I don’t get this trade either. would the suns have been better off trading Marion or amare this summer and gotten a lot more, like KG, rather than an overweight bohemouth, who is breaking down physically? Just the same, i pick shaq up off waivers. If he’s on the court his scoring has to go up with nash getting him the ball, right?

  2. Ryan Lester
    February 6th, 2008 at 1:16 pm #

    No kidding. This reeks of desperation.

  3. Luis
    February 6th, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    I must wholeheartedly disagree. Shaq is still an extremely tough guard for any big man in the NBA. Put him on the same frontcourt with Stoudamire and I dare you to find a better Center/Power Forward combo in the league. I think the Suns officially become the team to beat out West. Postseason play is all about the halfcourt sets. Every team that has won in the past 20 years has run a set offense through a man in the post (even Jordan’s Bulls ran the Triangle which is the tri-post offense… all through the post)… the rest of the West if not the whole league should be afraid. As a Laker fan I was tremendously excited by the Gasol trade, I’m sure this trade was a reaction to that one, but kudos to Steve Kerr for getting rid of the malcontent that Marion had become (no secret that his numbers are down almost 5 points a game because his teammates have complained about him and have had a hard time playing with him) for one of the greatest players the game has ever seen. Even though he isn’t the Shaq of the Lakers dynasty he is more than enough to be an intimidating force throughout the remainder of the season. The Suns may have just won themselves the NBA title.

  4. Ryan Lester
    February 6th, 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    Good assessment Luis. I started off thinking the Suns must be nuts, and by the end I waivered a bit. Your arguement further helps that waivering. Perhaps Kerr is smart like a fox.

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