Heat trade Marion for Jermaine O’neal

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Shawn Marion’s game-winning dunk against the Bulls on Thursday night proved to be his last in a Miami Heat uniform, the Heat won 95-93. Marion, along with Marcus Banks, were traded to the Toronto Raptors for Jermaine O’neal and Jamario Moon earlier today. The Heat has will also acquire a conditional draft pick as part of the deal.

Marion averaged 12ppg and 8.7rpg this season with the Heat, totals which are considerably lower than his career averages of 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. The 4-time All-Star never fully flourished with the Heat while playing the small forward position. The Raptors were equally as disappointed with O’neal, who’s only averaging 13ppg and 7rebs. The 5-time All-Star has been injury prone and the team is more cohesive when he’s not in the lineup.

Besides getting rid of underachieving players, the Raptors and Heat both open up some cap space by unloading the stars and their huge salaries. Marion has an expiring $17.8 million per season contract, while O’neal is due $23 million next season; his contract expires after the 2010 season. Which team will benefit the most from the trade? At this point, it seems like a wash.

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