Shaq to MIAMI not DALLAS...

Discussion in 'Sports Zone' started by BrAinPaiNt, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    Lakers reportedly agree
    to send Shaq to Heat
    Star center said to be ‘ecstatic’
    about deal that moves him to Miami
    for Odom, Grant, Butler, first-round pick
    Center Shaquille O'Neal, named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, is arguably the most dominant player in the game today. news services
    Updated: 1:36 p.m. ET July 11, 2004LOS ANGELES - Shaquille O’Neal, arguably the most dominant player in the NBA today, reportedly is headed to South Florida.

    According to the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald and the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to trade the disgruntled star center to the Miami Heat.

    "I can confirm that all the parties have agreed to the deal" Perry Rodgers, O'Neal's agent, told the Post late Saturday. "It's all pending [league] approval but I can say everything has been agreed to."

    Earlier Saturday, Rogers, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that O’Neal, a one-time league most valuable player and three-time Finals MVP, has given his blessing to a deal that would send him to Miami.

    “We’ve said that we would agree to a trade,” Rogers said in a story posted Saturday night on the newspaper’s Web site. “I think that’s going to happen. I’d be very surprised if it didn’t happen.”

    The deal would bring O'Neal, 32, to Miami for forwards Lamar Odom and Brian Grant, guard Caron Butler and a first-round pick in 2006 or later. None of the Heat players has been an All-Star.

    The trade cannot be officially announced until Wednesday when a two-week NBA moratorium on trades and free agent signings expires.

    “It’s very serious. I think it’s very close to getting done,” said Grant’s agent, Mark Bartelstein.

    Greeted by reporters as he was leaving a gym near his Orlando mansion, O’Neal said he had not yet met with Heat president Pat Riley and declined to comment on a possible trade.

    “I can’t say anything about that today,” said O’Neal, flashing a big smile.

    But a person close to O'Neal told the Post that the 7-foot-1, 340-pound center is "ecstatic" about the move for several reasons. First, playing in the Eastern Conference is easier than passing through the gantlet that is the Western Conference. Second, Miami is a big enough market for O'Neal's outsized personality, and third, O'Neal believes that playing alongside rookie point guard sensation Dwyane Wade means that Miami will have the firepower to challenge for the NBA championship

    One Western Conference executive criticized the Lakers for not obtaining Wade in the deal.

    "I can't see you making a deal with Miami in which you don't get Dwyane Wade," he said. "Not getting Wade is a failure for the Lakers."

    According to several media reports, O’Neal joined his representatives for a three-hour meeting that included Riley and Heat general manager Randy Pfund.

    O’Neal’s contract runs for two more seasons with a combined salary of almost $59 million, and he was angered earlier this season when the Lakers refused to offer him an extension.

    Rogers said the Heat had not discussed a new contract with O’Neal.

    “No extension was agreed upon. That was never a condition for Shaquille,” Rogers said. “He wanted to go to an environment that was a team environment. We feel confident that that’s what Pat Riley and [owner] Micky Arison have created as a culture. This is the type of place that Shaquille would love to finish his career.”

    In Los Angeles, the formal announcement of Rudy Tomjanovich’s hiring as the Lakers’ new coach was partially overshadowed by the O’Neal trade talk and Kobe Bryant’s free agency.

    Bryant is free to sign with any NBA team as of Wednesday, and reports in Los Angeles have said he is giving serious consideration to signing with the Clippers. A trade of O’Neal, combined with coach Phil Jackson’s departure, would appear to indicate the Lakers are doing all they can to placate Bryant in the hopes that he’ll re-sign.

    If Bryant re-signs, the Lakers could be looking at a starting lineup next season of the 6-foot-9 Grant at center, Odom at power forward, Butler at small forward, Gary Payton at point guard and Bryant at shooting guard. Derek Fisher and Karl Malone remaining free agents and have expressed some interest in returning to the Lakers.

    "I don't think that when the season was over Shaq was really that adamant about leaving," Fisher told the Times. "He obviously was disappointed, like all of us were. But that changed when the line was clearly drawn that it wasn't his team and it was all about Kobe and that he'll have to take a back seat. I think at that point, Shaq washed his hands of the Lakers.

    "It's unfortunate because we've had something very special."

    When O’Neal declared that he wanted out of Los Angeles just days after the Lakers lost the NBA finals to Detroit, he listed Miami as one of his preferred destinations.

    Riley and Pfund did not attend the Heat’s summer league game in Orlando on Saturday as they had done all week. A Heat spokesman said the team could not comment, because O’Neal was under contract with the Lakers.

    According to the Times, Riley came to Los Angeles three weeks ago to interview for Jackson's job. It was during his meeting in L.A. that Riley became convinced Buss was serious about trading O'Neal and started matching players. Riley refused to part with Wade, whom Bryant urged the Lakers to acquire. It isn't clear what impact that failure will have on Bryant's choice of where to sign.

    Instead, the Lakers get Odom, a former Clipper who averaged 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds and will play for the U.S. in the upcoming Olympics; Grant, an aging inside player; and Butler, whose numbers fell off after a strong rookie season.

    Odom fought injuries and a marijuana habit -- he's been suspended twice by the NBA -- with the Clippers before signing as an unrestricted free agent last season with the Heat. When Odom left, the Clippers cited "character issues" as one of the reasons he wasn't re-signed.

    Under the NBA's collective-bargaining agreement, the Lakers had to take on contracts worth within 15% of O'Neal's $27.7-million salary. According to the Times, Odom is due to make $9 million next season, Grant $13.2 million and Butler $1.9 million. Odom's contract runs through the 2007-08 season, Grant's through 2005-06. If Bryant re-signs, and Odom and Grant are on the roster, then the Lakers will have little chance of obtaining a high-level free agent in the near future.

    Tomjanovich said he spoke with O’Neal, but declined to divulge any details. “I just hope all those things turn out well,” he said.

    Los Angeles general manager Mitch Kupchak said there was nothing new to report on O’Neal.

    “I don’t know how this is going to play out, I really don’t,” he said. “When there is something to report, we’ll report it.”

    Kupchak said that he had not spoken with O’Neal or his representatives, but added: “Shaquille has a unique way of letting me know information I should know.”

    Last year, O’Neal averaged a career-low 21.5 points with 11.5 rebounds and 2.48 blocks.

    O’Neal began his NBA career with Orlando, leading the Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995. He signed with the Lakers as a free agent after the 1995-96 season and won three NBA titles in Los Angeles, though he has maintained a residence in South Florida.

    In 12 seasons, he has averaged 27.1 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.

    The Associated Press contributed to this story
  2. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    I'm sure Riley is happy :D
  3. Ruff_Rider

    Ruff_Rider Benched

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    This SUCKS, sooo bad. I wanted to see him here in Dallas. :(
  4. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    The Heat are a little weak at Forward now, but with Shaq, they should really be putting a scare into the East. The East is just not built -- center-wise -- to handle Shaq on a week-in, week-out basis.

    Eastern teams should negotiate a conference-wide swap for Western Centers now, since those teams will no longer be needed to go up againt Shaq.
  5. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

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    That giant "phew" you just heard were all the Western Conference bigmen excited that they wouldn't have to run into Shaq in the playoffs now. ;)
  6. jcollins28

    jcollins28 Well-Known Member

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    I wanted him in Dallas to but not at the cost of sending the Lakers Shaggy.
  7. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

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    I would have given Nowitzki for Shaq. With Shaq, you have a small window of opportunity to get the best out of him because of his age. I think a vet squad with so many other established starters like in Dallas would have been perfect. Dallas would have been the favorite to win it all. Cuban will trade for Jamison, Antoine Walker, Stackhouse and other rejects but he won't grab Shaq. :confused:
  8. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    I don't know. I'd be nervous if I were a Western Conference bigman now. They've lost their raison d'etre.

    Once Shaq does eventually retire, will there really be a need for the Rasho's, Olowokandi's, and Brad Miller's of the world? All those 7+ footers with no game should be praying that Shaq plays as long as possible!
  9. GTaylor

    GTaylor Gif Dude

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    No doubt the biggest "Phew" came from Shawn Bradley
  10. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

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    LOL.... :D

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