Jermaine O'Neal In, Shawn Marion Out—The Anticipation Ends

John FrielAnalyst IFebruary 13, 2009

After months of anticipation, the Miami Heat have dealt small forward Shawn Marion to the Toronto Raptors for center Jermaine O'Neal. Seldom-used guard Marcus Banks was also sent to the Raptors.  Raptor's forward Jamario Moon was sent to the Heat.

The trade comes hours after Shawn Marion hit a game winning dunk in a 95-93 win over the Chicago Bulls.

O'Neal, after his most recent injury, has shown a lot of progress.  He has put up a number of 20-point games, including a recent outing where the former all-star put up 20 points, nine rebounds, and nine blocks.

The trade works well for both teams, considering the Heat's need for a presence in the middle. The Heat have used Joel Anthony, Mark Blount, and Jamaal Magloire since the beginning of the season. The Raptors get the true small forward they have been waiting for in Shawn Marion.

Jamario Moon, who is most known for his high flying acrobatic dunks, is currently averaging seven points a game in 24 minutes of play. Marcus Banks has only been featured in 16 games this season, averaging a little over two points a game. Banks played a larger role in last year's Heat campaign, coming off the bench as a second-string point guard.

Due to the All-Star Break, Heat and Raptor fans will have to wait a week until they see their new acquisitions in action.