HOT ENOUGH FOR YA?
Can you dig it?! Shaquille O'Neal is now officially a member of the Heat. The most dominant player in the NBA today has been traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the Miami Heat for Lamar Odom, Brian Grant, Caron Butler, and a first round draft pick. Essentially, the Heat gave up their starting front line to acquire the Diesel.
Can you blame them? Odom is finally coming into his own as a player and has a huge upside, Grant can't jump but works his ass off in the paint, and Butler could be a solid starter for a long time in this league. But the opportunity to get a player and box office draw like Shaq just doesn't come around very often.
Luckily, Pat Riley and Heat management were wise enough to take advantage of it. What I like best about the trade is that the Heat didn't have to give up Dwayne Wade, their star guard who will now play the role Kobe played alongside O'Neal. Will a happy Shaq and young Wade be enough to dethrone the World Champion Detroit Pistons in the East? Will the Heat supporting cast be any better than the Lakers subpar supporting cast of this past season? Who will take control in the Western Conference? KG and the Wolves? Duncan and the Spurs? Nowitzki and the Mavs? Will Kobe return to the Lakers, and if so, can they still contend for the Western Conference crown? Lots and lots of questions linger, but it's a very exciting day to be a fan of the NBA and a euphoric one to be a Heat fan.
Welcome to Miami, Shaq Daddy.