Jermaine O'Neal-Shawn Marion: Heat and Raptors Pull Off Blockbuster Trade

Mike PiccoloContributor IFebruary 13, 2009

The much-anticipated blockbuster trade has been completed!

Shawn Marion, Marcus Banks, and cash considerations (said to be $3 million) have been traded to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Jermaine O'Neal, Jamario Moon, and a conditional draft pick. 

All I can say is: What a trade for Miami

Let's face it, Marion was never a perfect fit in Miami. As much as Miami Heat fans wanted it to work, it just didn't. During Marion's short stint with the Heat, his points and rebounds were down drastically from his career averages.

Also, his explosiveness and tenacious play were less than impressive. The acquisition of Marion also left Miami with a poor void at center, with only Joel Anthony and a mediocre Jamal Magloire to fill it. 

This trade is a monster for the Heat and is just what the trade doctor ordered! 

Jermaine O' Neal has been white hot in his last seven games for the Raptors, scoring 20 or more points in four out of the last six games. O' Neal has also had four-plus blocks in three of the last seven games, with one of those games including nine blocks.

O' Neal provides a huge and much-needed presence in the middle for the Heat, while Moon provides even more diversity and depth to an already exciting and energetic young team.

Amazingly, these two new additions could be the keys to the playoffs and beyond for the Miami Heat. 

It's pretty clear who has gotten the better end of the deal. With a starting lineup of  Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Michael Beasley/Jamario Moon, and O' Neal, it's going to be a big finish for the Miami Heat. Look for them to make it far into the playoffs, if not further.

This is not to say that the Toronto Raptors didn't get a good deal as well.

The frontcourt of Jose Calderon, Anthony Parker, Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, and Shawn Marion is nothing to sneeze at. This new lineup will allow for Bosh to play down low, where he was crowded by the post play of O' Neal. It also gives Bargnani the freedom to venture past the three-point arc, where he is more than comfortable.

Marion will surely be a much better fit on the Raptors, with his up-tempo play and run-and-gun mentality.

So what are your thoughts on the biggest trade of the season thus far? Post your opinions; I'd love to hear them.

Thanks for reading, and LET'S GO HEAT!