Blog Entry

O'Neal still in limbo

Posted on: January 28, 2009 9:37 pm

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jermaine O'Neal smiled when I asked him where things stand with you-know-what.

"You mean the Miami thing," he said before the Raptors played the Nets Wednesday night.

Basically, O'Neal remains in limbo. He knows that Toronto would like to send him to Miami for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks in a trade that would free up the Raptors' offense for Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani. He knows Miami is watching him closely and studying his medical records to make sure his knees will hold up.

He knows it's nothing personal. No hard feelings toward Raptors G.M. Bryan Colangelo if the deal goes through.

"I'm just trying to get healthy, which has been the big issue for me the last couple of years," O'Neal said. The trade talk, he said, "doesn't bother me at all."

Colangelo is in wait-and-see mode, too. And he's not panicking. O'Neal has been effective coming off the bench the past three games after missing 11 of 12 to rest his bruised knee. Colangelo knows he has a valuable asset, because O'Neal's $23 million contract for next season expires in time for everyone to make a frenzied run at free agents in the summer of 2010. As of now, there's no deal with Miami. And while Colangelo waits for the Heat to decide whether to move forward with it, I'm told he's not actively shopping J.O. elsewhere. Two or three teams have inquired about him, and that only strengthens Colangelo's hand.

The Raptors are $222,000 under the luxury-tax threshold. Barring a trade proposal that blows Colangelo away, he's not inclined to push a team that entered Wednesday night 10 games under .500 over the punitive dollar-for-dollar tax.

In the meantime, O'Neal auditions for Miami and Colangelo smiles because he's contributing in a way that helps his team. And that only makes his $23 million expiring contract more valuable. At some point, something has to give.



Since: Aug 12, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2009 2:11 am

O'Neal still in limbo

Why is O'Neal is limbo?

To us Pacer fans, it's quite obvious.  He's a washed-up pansy.

Miami will be worse if they trade for him.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2009 12:34 am

O'Neal still in limbo

Motown I agree; Marion brings the untangibles to Toronto- the D, the scrapping, the hate to lose attitude, the slashing and shooting and running.

Plus Marion could find a home reunited with Colangelo in Toronto. Marion im sure wants to play and wants touches. He will thrive with Jose just as he did with Nash- he neeeds a true PG; Wade is not a great match for him.

So bring it on  if it happens. And I agree, Toronto could be tough with this lineup.

Since: Jan 13, 2009
Posted on: January 29, 2009 12:22 am

O'Neal still in limbo

Personally, this seems like a no brainer.  Toronto has no need for another scorer especially with Andrea Bargnani's breakout.  Marion would provide them with what I think is still a valuable asset.  People knock Marion and his decline saying it was all a result of the Suns up-tempo style.  The style probably did contribute to to a slight incline in scoring but any run and gun team has skewed stats.  Still given a decent amount of touches he has always had a fairly good FG% and can hit the 3.  The Suns style didn't contribute to his biggest asset which would be his defensive prowess.  He blocks, steals, deflects, alters shot, he does all the dirty work.  Bosh, Bargnani, Marion and Calderon is a solid foursome.  As for Miami, they are going nowhere soon and while you don't throw in the towel; you have to think long term as well.  When they drafted Beasley, Marion hinders his development.  Same with Chauncey taking Stuckey's minutes.  $23 million off the cap would be great and im sure the concept of playing with wade, beasley and the nice scenery of miami beach.  I think Toronto becomes dangerous if they pull the trigger on this trade.  Wouldnt want to see them in a 7 game series.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2009 12:12 am

O'Neal still in limbo

JO has played well of late and the 3some of JO, CB4 and AB is a formidable force inside. So it is a win win for Toronto. If Jo stays they are solid inside and if they trade, they get Marion at the 3- the solid piece they have missed of late.

I think the wild card in this whole mess is Joey Graham. He is starting to look like the lottery pick that was supposed to be in the same league as Danny Granger. If he keeps improving, the Raps might have the answer at the 3 without trading which allows them to keep together a great frontcourt.

If Marion arrives, it could be just for a few months because as a free agent, hi will have other optiions than re-signing with Toronto. So Toronto might take a run at a high end free agent in 2009 if someone is available. Toronto might do better in 2009 than 2010 since everyone everywhere has cleared cap space for 2010. And Toronto is not where superstars want to be. Supply and demand might work in Toronto's favour in 2009.

If Marion re-signed with Toronto (He is close to Colangelo), Bosh might stay put in 2010 considering Bargnani, Bosh, Marion, Parker and Calderon is a pretty solid lineup. And by working some magic, you might even get a Steve Nash to consider a return to Canada in 2010. Then with JG, Kapono a matured Roko in support, the Raps start to look pretty credible.

Or JO stays and with JG at the 3, possibly the Raps could have a solid year in 2009. Then in 2010, Bosh stays (maybe yes maybe no) and again, a solid team falls into place.

On the other hand, they could continue to lose, Bosh could be traded mid year next year since he is bolting anyways and Toronto could be in rebuilding mode as they watch all the stars including Nash sign in the bigger American markets- god forbid!

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