While ESPN’s John Hollinger is measured in his praise for Pat Riley following Miami sending Shawn Marion (above, right) and Marcus Banks to Toronto for Jermaine O’Neal, Jamario Moon and a conditional first rounder in the Raptors’ next lottery session, the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman calls the Heat GM, “a freaking genius”.
If O’Neal proves he is up to the challenge the balance of this season, then Udonis Haslem could wind up the odd man out next season, with the logical shift of Michael Beasley to a full-time role at power forward alongside such a sizeable presence. (O’Neal is under contract through 2009-10).
No, Beasley is not a small forward, especially not a starting small forward. Of the current group, it could be Yakhouba Diawara, at least until the Heat gets a read on Moon or James Jones’ shot comes around. This also could slightly open the door for Dorell Wright, perhaps for the final time.
Figure on a pickup at point guard or at least a signing, with Marcus Banks gone. Stephon Marbury? Probably not the way to go while also trying to work in O’Neal on the fly.
As for center, something will have to be done to thin out the core of Magloire, Anthony and Blount, especially if Haslem also serves as the backup center.