NBA Roundtable

Heat Acquire Jermaine for Marion

In Trade Talk on February 13, 2009 at 1:58 pm

ESPN’s Ric Bucher is reporting

The Toronto Raptors have agreed to send Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon to the Miami Heat in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks, league sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher.

The deal is pending league approval, according to sources, and if approved, would be announced later Friday afternoon.

Initial reaction?

  • Terrible deal for the Toronto Raptors
  • Very good deal for the Miami Heat because of Banks and Moon

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Raptors also included a future first round pick in the trade package. That would be a huge bonus for the Miami Heat. No confirmation as of yet (Update: Now confirmed, scroll down to the heading below in the article of more information on the draft pick).

Update: Some added information on the transaction

In addition, the Heat gained a $4 million trade exception in the transaction, which it can use to balance salaries in a deal for the next 12 months. To complete the transaction, the Heat will send cash to Toronto, with $3 million the maximum allowed by the league in such transactions.

Update: An audio link to the conference call with Bryan Colangelo where he discusses the trade.

The Deal Breaker – Marcus Banks

Marcus Banks is owed a little under $15mil over the next two and a half seasons. That takes him one season past the key summer of 2010, which means some team has to have him on their books for $5mil that offseason reducing their cap flexibility.

For the last three years Marcus Banks has been the equivalent of a third string point guard. No team in the league is going to be interested in him because of how grossly overpaid Banks is. This gives him negative trade value, which means the Raptors would have to part with an important asset (say a first round draft pick) in order to offload him and get their cap flexibility back.

The Raptors were already walking a tightrope on their cap flexibility for 2010, Marcus Banks’ contract is a killer blow.

Conversely, the Miami Heat removing Marcus Banks from their cap for 2010 is a massive boost for the club.

Editors Note: I wrote a bit on the Raptors cap situation for 2010 a month ago if anybody wants more information on that.

Jamario Moon

Jamario Moon is largely irrelevant to the Toronto Raptors because I think they couldn’t afford to pay him this summer without creating additional problems. Like I said, they were walking a tightrope for 2010 and a mid-level like contract (around $4-5mil) causes a lot of damage.

So I have no problem with the Raptors including him in any trade, in fact over the last 2 months I have wanted Bryan Colangelo to sell him off to the highest bidder, see if the Raps can pick up anything of value instead of losing him for free in the summer. This is also partly due to club’s indifferent form and Moon’s non-pivotal role in the team.

That said, Moon is a big loss in the short term. He is one of Toronto’s best role players and is signed on a cheap contract ($700k). Moon is a good defender, very good rebounder and a solid offensive player. He adds a lot of value to a team without needing the basketball to be effective, which is very valuable.

Jamario Moon is excellent pickup for the Miami Heat and can do a solid job filling in Shawn Marion’s large hole.

The First Round Pick

Still no confirmation on whether or not the pick has been included in the trade. If it has, this deal immediately becomes far far worse for the Toronto Raptors and an incredible trade for the Miami Heat.

Update: The Sun-Sentinel is reporting

According to a party with the details of the deal, the Heat will receive a first-round pick from Toronto in 2010, unless that pick is among the first 14 (lottery) selections.

Should Toronto be in the draft lottery in 2010, in essence not make next season’s playoffs, the Heat then would receive a 2010 second-round pick from the Raptors.

The protection on the draft pick is fairly good. I like that the pick doesn’t roll over and give Miami a first rounder the next year should Toronto fail, instead only offering Miami a second rounder.

Update: Further information has come in about the protection on the draft pick, from the same source and link from above — this quote is in addition to the above quote.

The first-round pick then would be sent to the Heat in any year, from 2011 through 2014 that it is not among the first 14 selections (the next year Toronto makes the playoffs).

Should the Heat not get the first-round pick by 2014, it then would receive a 2015 first-round pick from the Raptors.

Shawn Marion

Shawn Marion is the best player in the deal. He’s a terrific rebounder and an excellent defender. He’s also a very useful complementary offensive player, but his inabilities to create his own shot or to create shots for others limit him in a big way on that end of the floor.

The Raptors cannot afford to keep him in town past this summer. If they sign him to an extension this summer the Raps will have no cap flexibility left to acquire another top tier talent, that is a key point for the Raptors because their core simply isn’t strong enough to contend for an NBA title.

So the question becomes if Toronto re-sign Marion, how do they make significant additions to that core? And there are no clear answers to that question. The Raptors cannot sign Shawn Marion this summer.

Edit: I forgot to mention the short term benefits Marion, chiefly because his long term implications are far more important, but the short term needs to be discussed also.

The Raptors have a horrific perimeter defense and Shawn Marion will help improve that. He’ll immediately become their best stopper on the perimeter and their best help defender on the perimeter.  Shawn Marion is also the best rebounding small forward so his rebounding prowess should help balance Bargnani out and offer some improvement for the Raptors. These are two of the three biggest flaws for the Raptors, and while Marion doesn’t solve them he certainly does improve the situation.

Offensively, Marion doesn’t offer a huge amount. He doesn’t create enough to be a long term answer for the Raptors.

Jermaine O’Neal

Unlikely to be much of a pickup for the Miami Heat, and is here primarily because his contract goes one year longer than Shawn Marion’s deal.

In other words, the Heat get to keep a high level player on their roster up until the 2010 free agency bonanza without threatening their cap flexibility for the summer. Shawn Marion’s contract ending in 2009, and leaving Dwyane Wade and company short of talent in the process, was a significant problem for the Miami Heat.

There’s a lot of mixed up and frankly unclear logic involved in this move for Miami, so let’s have a look at that.


Miami wanted to boost their rebounding so adding a good rebounding big man will help right? Probably not.

Shawn Marion was the best rebounding small forward in the league pulling down 8.7rpg. Jermaine O’Neal on the other hand is only pulling down 7rpg, although he’s been limited to less than 30 minutes and is nearly identical on a per minute basis.

There’s also a second factor at play. Shawn Marion gets his rebounds while playing small forward and allowing two big men to play alongside him (three high level rebounders), while Jermaine takes up one of those big man spots and Marion’s spot gets filled by an inferior rebounder (two high level rebounders).

Jamario Moon could be a key player in evening out the second factor, but that is dependent on him keeping his head on straight and sticking to what he does best (long stretches where he hasn’t rebounded the ball well this season, down big from last season overall). This is something he has had problems with and is the key reason why he’s not an elite role player.

If Moon can’t keep it together and give Miami 30 minutes of good rebounding at small forward, then the two next most capable replacements are Daequan Cook and James Jones who both only pull down 3.5-4rpg per 36 minutes which is a loss of about four rebounds a game compared to what Marion was bringing to table.


Jermaine O’Neal is a high quality interior defender and a terrific shot blocker. He is an able and effective anchor to a defense. His interior defense and shot blocking are also big holes for the Miami Heat.

So Jermaine should improve Miami’s defense, right? Ehh, maybe, probably not though.

Miami’s defense this season has been based on quickness and athleticism, particularly on the perimeter. Losing Shawn Marion, their best perimeter defender, weakens their team defense in a large way. Now maybe Jermaine can bring enough to the table to override that loss, it’s certainly possible, but it’s also a far thing from a certainty. At the very least, the whole dynamic of their team defense is likely to change.

There’s also a second issue defensively and that’s Dwyane Wade, whom immediately becomes Miami’s best perimeter defender and key stopper.

The Heat have been getting great contributions from Marion down the stretch of close games while simultaneously allowing Wade to rest on a weaker offensive player, allowing Wade to expand more energy on the offensive end of the floor. In other words, the pressure on Wade just cranked up another notch because he’s going to be asked to do a lot more defensively.

Those extra duties may also limit Wade’s disruptive help defense which has been a key factor in Miami creating so many turnovers this season (tied second best in the league).

On a final note, I must say, I’m very much looking forward to seeing Jermaine O’Neal and Udonis Haslem play together and hold down the paint for Miami. That could be a great partnership.


This may be the most dubious of all areas. I think anything could happen here for Miami.

The Heat badly needed a second shot creator alongside Wade, and so far Beasley has been too poor in other areas to be there consistently for his team, which left Marion as the only legitimate option and he failed. In fact, Cook was a better second banana in terms of creating and making shots.

Jermaine O’Neal is a so-so offensive player. He can put points on the boards but does so with low efficiency. He also turns the ball over a fair bit and is a poor decision maker outside of 15 feet. These negatives limit his impact offensively, and hurt his quality contributions considerably.

That said, sometimes low efficiency scorers help create time and space for high efficiency low usage role players, so perhaps Jermaine can have a secondary effect offensively and help get some of Miami’s role players off the mark. This is something he failed to do in Toronto, but was able to do well in Indiana.

Miami will now also possess a solid inside-outside scoring punch which hopefully help create more balance offensively for Miami.

Shawn Marion’s offense – In the past Marion has been a quality scoring, high efficiency, low touches, offensive player … which is incredibly valuable. He has suffered in Miami though, scoring at a mediocre rate and no longer at his high efficiency. So he wasn’t contributing a whole pile.

Overall, it’s unclear if Jermaine O’Neal is an upgrade over Shawn Marion. He likely does not.

Miami Wins This Trade Because …..

Like I just said, it’s unclear whether O’Neal adds more to the Heat than Shawn Marion. He likely does not, although there is a decent possibility that could. There is a good bonus for Miami in having an extra year’s contract on the books, meaning Wade has some help, but that evens out the risk they’re taking more than anything else.

The reason Miami is a runaway winner in this deal is the removal of Marcus Banks of their cap, and the addition of Jamario Moon who could become a key role player and starter for the Heat. (Update: The draft pick is very good too)


Moon and Marion

I’m really disappointed that these two didn’t get a chance to play together. I was looking forward to a starting five of Calderon — Moon — Marion — Bosh — Bargnani.

Those two could have been a fun combination on the wings, a lot of defense and great rebounding, with big time athleticism to boot. Questionable offensively, sure, but they’d win a huge amount of possessions and if the Raps played intelligently as a unit it could have been a very good lineup.

Joey Graham

A lot of Raptors fans have been delighted with Graham’s play this season and now, once again, consider Joey a prospect with a future at the club.

The Shawn Marion signing will very likely limit his minutes and opportunities for the remainder of this season.

Michael Beasley

(1) How many minutes can he earn while playing behind Udonis Haslem and Jermaine O’Neal?

Well he ain’t playing all that much right now, and he doesn’t deserve more time either. But those two veterans are real road blocks standing in his way. I’m sure Udonis would be a good soldier and take a reduction in minutes when it’s time.

I suppose Jermaine doesn’t play too much either, although I’m sure Miami are hoping he can give more than 29 mintues and closer to 34 minutes. If Miami need to limit his minutes in order to keep O’Neal healthy, then minutes shouldn’t be an important deterrent for Beasley.

(2) How good of a veteran leader or role model is Jermaine for Beasley?

I think Jermaine O’Neal has been good with younger players during his career and was an excellent influence on Bargnani. I’d credit a large chunk of Bargnani’s defensive improvement to O’Neal. So, he should be a good influence on Beasley.

Joel Anthony

Joel Anthony has been unproductive, to put it mildly, for the Miami Heat this season. With Jermaine/Udonis/Beasley there is no reason for Anthony to play more than ten minutes per game for Miami, and that’s a very good thing.

Anthony is still a young player and has shown good improvement since joining the league, so I don’t think Miami should give up on the kid or anything, but he isn’t good enough to be a rotation regular right now.

Toronto’s Backup Point Guard

We have three contestents with Roko Ukic, Marcus Banks and Will Solomon. Who deserves the spot?

I’d go with Roko Ukic, who oddly enough is basically Marcus Banks five or six years ago when Banks was back in Boston and was playing defense… in the sense that both being players did two things well — defend and penetrate.

Pity Banks stopped playing D, if he ever got back in the habit he could win that backup slot but we’re talking three years of not playing defense so that’s very unlikely.

Solomon is the most consistent of the bunch and perhaps the safest choice as a result, but I prefer Roko’s defense+energy over Will’s game. Plus the Raptors are short on dribble penetration, which again Roko provides.

Dorell Wright

Is there a place in the rotation for Wright?

I don’t think so. The Heat’s primary choice of wings should be Wade, Moon, Jones, and Cook. Although Cook and Jones will be flipped because injuries have ruined Jones’ season so far and because the Heat like what Cook does.

If Moon fails to keep his head together, then Wright is the best choice to replace him because he’s the only other good rebounder on the wing outside of Wade.

Oh, I forgot to mention Diawara. He’ll be vying for playing time along with Jones and Wright. Jones should win out if he’s healthy enough, but if not then Diawara will be the fourth wing and will likely get a chance before Wright does no matter what happens.

Bryan Colangelo

Loyal to his people ain’t he?

Bringing back old faces in Marion and Banks. Also Jake Voshkul.


Miami Heat

This sets up the Heat beautifully for 2010 while also keeping the squad in good shape on an interim basis. This is an excellent trade for Miami because of the removal of Marcus Banks, the acquisition of Jamario Moon and the possible first round pick. The Marion-Jermaine part of it is best described by “meh”, but hey that part may work out well too.

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors have set themselves up for a fall in a time where they couldn’t afford too. This trade may cripple this franchise and force a long term rebuilding process.

There are a lot of problems on the horizon for the Raptors.

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